A Columbus, Ohio community activist who vanished earlier this year has been found dead in a river not far from where her abandoned car had been discovered shortly after her disappearance, The Daily Mail reports.
Amber Evans, 28 went missing on January 28, after a dispute with her boyfriend, police say. Her mother, Tonya Fischer, told Columbus station WBNS that her daughter was battling a cold and had experienced a bad breakup.
Volunteer groups had searched for Evans throughout the time she was missing and some had criticized police for not speeding up their search. Police said there were no known domestic violence issues between Evans and her boyfriend.
She was reportedly a key organizer of protests at Columbus City Hall and an activist with the People’s Justice Project and March for Our Lives. Evans also worked for the Juvenile Justice Coalition, according to reports.
Fischer said on the day of her daughter’s disappearance, she left a work meeting at 5:30 p.m. A store receipt shows that she purchased cold medicine an hour later. Fischer says her last message from her daughter was a text at 8:07 p.m. that read, “I love you and I’m sorry.”
In early February, she told local station WSYX that she had a work meeting that afternoon, then went to spend time with her boyfriend, who later told Fischer that she went to take a drive and hadn’t been heard from. Fischer says her last message from her daughter was a text at 8:07 p.m. that read, “I love you and I’m sorry.”
When she went looking for her daughter, she found her car abandoned. Columbus police reported Evans a “distraught high-risk” missing person the next day. At the time, Fisher, a former mental healthcare worker, was adamant that her daughter did not commit suicide, and disputes claims that Evans was distraught high-risk
On Saturday morning, police recovered a body from Columbus’ Scioto River about a mile from where the car had been abandoned and later confirmed that it was Evans. They said it was unclear exactly how or when she wound up in the river and have not disclosed whether or not they suspect foul play.
“While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them,” police said in a statement.
Tynan Krakoff, lead organizer for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Columbus said that the organization is “heartbroken” about the outcome of the search for Evans.
“Anyone who knew Amber knows that she was extremely disiplined and dedicated to struggling for a better world,” Krakoff said in a statement. “She treated everyone with dignity and when you spoke, it always felt like she truly was listening. She was a fighter and we will continue her legacy.”