Shawtyeria Waites, of Houston, Texas has been missing for nearly two weeks after going out to celebrate her birthday with friends. Waites disappeared from the 8900 block of Chimney Rock Road near Braeswood on July 27.
Waites was with two friends who shared details of that night with community activist Quanell X. They said they had all met a man while at the club earlier that night. That man then invited them to an apartment complex after the club, Quanell said.
Witnesses told Quanell they remember seeing Waites enter the apartment complex, but have no recollection of what door she knocked on. Meanwhile the other two women had gone to a store down the street.
"This is not to disparage anyone, but the young girls had been dancing at a nightclub, and they thought that they might want to come here and make a few extra dollars," Quanell said during a press conference Sunday afternoon. "[The man] had large sums of money on him and was spending large sums of money at the strip club."
The two women said that when they came back from the store, they called Waites' phone but there was no answer. Shortly after, her phone was cut off completely, Quanell said.
"This beautiful young Black sister goes into this apartment complex and completely disappears off the human radar screen," he said. "We believe this sister was met with foul play. We believe the man they met at the club never was a friendly man, never had friendly intentions. We believe that this was a trap to lure and kidnap these girls."
The apartment where Waites has allegedly gone was found to be vacant.
"Not knowing where she is has been trying on our family," said Waites' great-uncle, Leonard, who was also present at the briefing.
Quanell urged the public for help, and called out officials such as Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner for their lack of response to the case.
"We have a Black mayor and a Black police chief," he said. "If these were three white girls that came to this apartment complex, they would be swarming this place trying to get answers, but no one really cares when it's a brown or Black girl involved."
With the rise in abductions, trafficking and murder in the country it's no wonder why Waites' family is concerned for her safety.
Waites was wearing a pink dress, pink sandals and was wearing a long, black curly hair wig, according to Houston police.
Waites is a 20-year-old Black female with black hair and brown eyes. She's 5-feet 9-inches tall and weighs around 130 pounds.
If you have any information about Waites' disappearance, call the Houston Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 832-394-1840 or 911.
We're praying for her safe return.