Foul play likely in missing NYC girl's case

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

As the parents of a missing New York woman search for clues in Florida to find their missing daughter, a family pastor arrived their today to lend his support.

Police say 22-year-old Stepha Henry was last seen getting into a car outside of a club over the Memorial Day weekend.

Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson is in Miami with details.

Investigators now tell Eyewitness News everything about this case wreaks of foul play, that Stepha Henry would not simply get up and take off. And there's another big missing piece to this puzzle -- something deeply troubling to her family.

During these trying times, Pastor Jeffrey Hayslett is a pillar of support for the Henry family. He came here to Miami from Heavenly Ministries in Brooklyn where he regularly holds service.

He's known Stepha's parents for years and watched her grown into a confident young woman -- a 22-year-old now missing for 15 days.

"She's very persistent. She would never give up faith, she would never give up hope," Pastor Jeffrey Hayslett said.

The investigation now involves dozens of officers from Miami-Dade County and areas north. Detectives from the aviation and homicide units are canvassing a several hundred square mile splice of South Florida.

"This is any parent's nightmare," Miami-Dade Police Commander Linda O'Brien.

Commander O'Brian says because of the circumstances surrounding Stepha's disappearance, foul play is likely.

"We have a tremendous amount of water in southern Florida so we're checking the canals and lakes and those sorts of things," she said.

The John Jay College graduate was last seen leaving her aunt's home with a male friend around one in the morning on May 29th. They came to a club in Ft. Lauderdale. An image was captured of Stepha inside.

She did check her cell phone voice mail around four that same morning. Her male friend told police he left the club early without Stepha.

As for the four-door dark colored Acura Integra they came to the club in, Commander O'Brien says "Their origination of the car they came in was unclear to us. The gentleman who picked her up, who is an acquaintance of hers, tells us that the car was borrowed, so we are still trying to get information on that."

For now, friends say it's not if Stepha comes home, rather when.

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