Since activist Amber Evans vanished nearly a month ago, her car found abandoned near the Scioto River, few updates have come in about her disappearance. "I don't have any updates," Evans' father, Brian Peters, told Refinery29 on Feb. 13. "At this point she just vanished from downtown."
Some have accused the police of dragging their feet on Evans' case because she had been critical of law enforcement in her activism — an assertion the department strongly denies. "While every missing persons case is important to us the news has actually aired this case more than many others. We also posted it on our social media pages and don’t commonly do that for missing persons cases," Denise Alex-Bouzounis, a public information officer for the Columbus Police Department, told Refinery29 in an email on Saturday. "Last year nearly 7,000 missing persons cases were reported to us. That’s a lot. That’s also a tremendous amount of families and loved ones affected. We value everyone regardless of race, political affiliation, career or what not."
Police say the search of the Scioto River has been stalled due to unsafe conditions for divers. "We had a reported drowning [Feb. 22] and unfortunately could not get into the river because of the rising and moving waters," Alex-Bouzounis said. "We want to get in as soon as we can to see if Amber is in there or not as well as the man who supposedly went in."
Alex-Bouzounis stressed the police department is using all their resources to locate Evans. "We have eight detectives in our missing persons unit. As you can imagine they have big caseloads. We rely on family and friends as well as tips to assist us in locating the missing," she said. "We want to provide closure to Amber’s family as well as the thousands of others who have loved ones missing. Her family and her friends are working with us which helps a great deal." She added that they are looking at "all possibilities" into Evans' disappearance, including the possibility that she died by suicide.
In a conversation with Refinery29 Monday morning, Peters, Evans' father, said he hopes the authorities will be able to search the water this week and that he'll be setting up a Facebook page to showcase his daughter's work with the community. "This page will be for anyone who knew her that she helped in anyway. A page where people can share who Amber was to them," Peters said. "She will always be my beautiful baby girl that changed the direction of my life and gave me purpose. But she gave her life to helping others and activism ... so I want to hear what her life meant to others."
Anyone with information about Evans' disappearance should contact the Columbus Police Department's Special Victims Bureau at 614-645-4624 or 614-645-4545.