Police are asking for help in the search for a Black woman who mysteriously disappeared from an Ohio shopping center on Black Friday. On Monday (November 27,) the Cleveland Division of Police Second District Community Relations said Shamia Sanford was last seen at a T-Mobile store in Steelyard Commons on November 24.
Authorities issued conflicting reports about whether it was a missing persons case or a kidnapping, according to WOIO. After a T-Mobile spokesperson told reporters their investigation into the alleged kidnapping didn't support the police narrative, officials changed their social media posts to say Sanford was missing.
“We’re sorry to hear about this situation," the company wrote in a statement sent to the news station. "Our investigation does not support media stories that the customer was taken from our store, but we stand ready to partner with local authorities where helpful.”
Reporters also raised questions about why it took police three days to report Sanford's case to the public. There also wasn't any information about her age, the time of her disappearance, or what she was wearing at the time.
Cleveland Police Sergeant Freddy Diaz revealed Monday afternoon the department made verbal contact with Sanford but needs visual confirmation.
“This case is a missing person we are actively investigating," Diaz told WOIO. "We have had verbal communication with the victim, but we continue to investigate until we physically come in contact with her."