MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Police in South Florida are searching hundreds of canals and a huge area of wetlands for a car that could provide vital clues in the case of a young woman who vanished three weeks ago.
Stepha Henry, 22, disappeared after going to a party at a nightclub in Sunrise, Florida.
Police said they have no suspects in the case. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Henry’s parents — Steve and Sylvia — have moved to Florida temporarily from New York to try to draw more public attention to the case.
Henry was visiting her aunt in South Florida for Memorial Day weekend along with her teenage sister. On the evening she disappeared they had been to a barbecue with friends.
Her aunt said the young woman left her apartment about 1 a.m. on May 29 to go to a club called Peppers Cafe. The aunt said she saw her get into a car driven by a family acquaintance.
There is video of Henry at the club, where a promotional video was being taped that night.
The man who took her to the club said that he left alone and that Henry was still there with people he did not know. Someone — maybe Henry — checked her cell phone around 4 a.m., police say.
That is where the mystery of the car comes in.
Searching for a dark Acura
Police say the family acquaintance, whose name has not been released, told them he had borrowed the vehicle — a dark late-model Acura Integra — but it has since disappeared. Police have no details about the tag or year it was made.
One of the pilots involved in the aerial search for the car said it’s a frustrating task.
“There are pockets of wild areas and those areas, if someone were to get into the middle of them, no one might find anything in there for months,” said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Cliff Nelson.
“We’re very, very anxious to try to find the car. We are working very hard to locate it.”
Miami-Dade Police Commander Linda O’Brien indicated there are few leads in the case.
“It is totally uncharacteristic from what we’ve learned about Stepha Henry for her to go missing like this.”
Her parents said they believe their daughter is being held against her will because she’d never disappear on her own. They’ve continued to call her cell phone hoping for a response.
All they hear is: “Sorry, that mailbox is full. Please call again later.”
Her father, Steve Henry, said, “Right now I don’t even want to think the worst. All I want to know and all I’m praying for is that my daughter is still alive.”
Stepha Henry’s family said vital time was lost after her disappearance.
Her aunt, Carletha Clarke, told the Trinidad Guardian newspaper that police did not contact her until June 6, more than a week after the disappearance.
“I’m very disappointed, because being so long, anything could have happened.”
Henry is an honors graduate in criminal justice and was planning to go to law school next year.
Her parents said she has always been fascinated by crime.
“Every night she looks at Court TV and she always likes to look at forensic cases,” said her father.
If someone is holding her, he has this appeal: “Please let my daughter go, because we need her at home.”