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N.Y. Mother Pleads For Public's Help After Daughter Disappears On Work Trip To Washington D.C.
The mother of missing 23-year-old TiJae Baker fears her daughter may have been swayed by a cult or become a victim of human trafficking after she failed to return from a trip to the nation's capital.
A mother is desperate to find her daughter who disappeared more than a month ago after traveling to Washington D.C.
TiJae Baker, 23, was last seen by loved ones leaving her Wortman Avenue, Brooklyn residence on May 1 at around 3:36 p.m., according to the NYPD. The missing woman’s mother, Toquanna Baker, told reporters with New York ABC affiliate WABC that TiJae boarded a bus for Washington D.C. to make posters shortly after meeting an unnamed woman online.
TiJae, her mother explains, was an aspiring artist in her final semester of college, where she majored in art.
“She just did a pop-up shop, an art pop-up shop,” Toquanna told CBS News.
Toquanna says her daughter got off the bus at Union Station in D.C. and that she was supposed to return the next day, according to ABC News.
She grew concerned when radio silence followed.
On June 1 — one month after her disappearance — TiJae did call her mom, reportedly begging to be rescued, according to her grandmother, Roxanne Baker, who spoke to WABC reporters. Relatives said TiJae sounded scared, keeping her pleas down to a whisper.
“She said just tell her mother to come get her,” said Roxanne. “Now.”
Family members raced to Maryland to find TiJae, but to no avail. Since then, they have created missing person fliers and posted them around New York City and Washington D.C. They even held a rally in New York on Monday, according to WABC.
“After this rally, I’m going back down there,” Toquanna declared. “I’m going to find my daughter.”
Toquanna has voiced concerns that authorities aren’t making TiJae’s disappearance a priority, despite the family's numerous reports to police. According to WABC, police initially created a wanted poster instead of a missing person’s flyer.
Toquanna told CBS News that she's going "through abandoned buildings” and “walking through alleyways,” leaving no stone unturned in the search for her daughter.
The desperate mother is making some headway in her campaign: She was able to obtain surveillance video from June 1 that reportedly shows her daughter pacing inside a Washington D.C. nail salon. TiJae appeared to be making a phone call — a call that the family believes was the on Toquanna received in which she was begging to be picked up.
TiJae was gone before relatives got there.
Toquanna has also allegedly tracked down the unknown woman that TiJae reportedly met online, according to WABC. News outlets didn’t specify why, but Toquanna thereafter came to the conclusion that her daughter might have become involved in a cult.
She also voiced fears that TiJae could have been the victim of human trafficking, according to ABC News.
Toquanna told CBS news that TiJae normally kept in contact with her family daily and that her disappearance is uncharacteristic.
"My baby is out there, and traumatized, and scared,” Toquanna told CBS New York.
“It’s been over a month,” Toquanna told WABC. “I just want my baby home.”
TiJae is 5’7” and weighs 130 pounds, according to the NYPD. She was last seen wearing a black sweater, gray shorts, and a white top.
Anyone with information about her disappearance is urged to call 1-800-577-TIPS.