By: Claudia Rivero
Family and friends waited for Akia Eggleston at her baby shower celebration on May 7. Hours went by but Akia never showed up. When she didn’t answer her phone and didn’t pick up her daughter as planned, concerned family members went to the apartment Akia shared with two roommates but it was empty. The Baltimore native, who was 35 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy, was nowhere to be found.
“At first we thought maybe she was at the hospital and just didn't have her phone, but now I just feel like someone has done something to her, but who? We just don’t know,” said Cici Diaz.
Cici says her cousin is Akia's boyfriend and the father of her baby. "I've known Akia since she was 5-years-old, she's like my family. Nobody knew he was the baby's father except me. She only told me," Cici said.
Initially it was said the last time family members had contact with Akia was on May 3. But now, according to Crime Stoppers of Maryland, it was on April 29. It is not clear why that date changed.
According to Cici, Akia was excited about her second baby--a boy--but she struggled with the pregnancy.
“Akia was very high-risk. She was on strict bed rest and had issues walking. She couldn’t even get herself together. She was kind of disabled in a way,” Cici said. "The baby was supposed to get a scheduled cesarean on May 27, but she didn't show up."
Akia doesn't own a car which is why her family finds it difficult to believe the 22-year-old left on her own.
“We contacted the police but nobody showed up for 2-3 hours. We had to go to the police station and they told us, ‘Maybe she’s depressed, maybe she just ran away,’ but we know her condition and that girl could barely walk,” Cici said.
Something else that stands out to Akia's family is the lack of activity on her social media.
"That's what really alarmed us because she's always on social media. She puts everything on social media and nobody has seen her post anything," Cici said.
The last time Akia posted on her public Facebook page was April 28.
Before she disappeared, Akia reportedly told several friends that she had received harassing text messages from her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. Cici says the two women have never gotten along.
“The messages were crazy and then this all of the sudden happens right before her baby is born? So we were suspecting her, to be quite honest. But we don’t want to slander her name if she has no involvement. It could be anyone, even a total stranger,” Cici said.
According to local TV station ABC 2 WMAR, Baltimore police didn't suspect foul play, at least that's what they said in the beginning. The person who answered the phone at the Baltimore PD missing persons division referred me to the information on their Facebook page. It doesn't provide many details, therefore, it's unclear if investigators still believe Akia left on her own now that two months have passed since she disappeared.
The more time that goes by with no answers the more difficult it is for Akia's family. In addition to her baby shower and medical appointments, Akia also missed her 3-year-old daughter's birthday in late June.
"She just keeps asking where her mommy is, and we don't know what to tell her," Cici said.
Family members are now caring for the little girl.
"Akia just let us know that you're OK. We love you, and Emery needs you."
Akia Eggleston lived at the Middle Branch Apartments and Townhomes in the Cherry Hill area of South Baltimore. She's 4'8", 145lbs., has a tattoo of two cherries on her left shoulder and a tattoo of the name "Emery" on her right bicep. Family members say that Akia also has a very distinctive voice. If you know where Akia is or what happened to her, please call Crime Stoppers of Maryland: 1-866-7-LOCKUP
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Claudia Rivero Investigative Reporter/Producer