The family of Stevie Bates was featured during the second season premiere of Find Our Missing. They refuse to give up the search for her.
TV One, the network that airs Find Our Missing is proud to put a spotlight on African American adults and children who have disappeared, filling a hole in coverage by national media. Read more about the show, here.
The case of New Yorker Stevie Bates, missing since April 2012 led off the show on Wednesday night and the story, like others about missing children is a heartbreaking one.
The 19 year-old former college student had taken a break from school and was on a cross-country trip with acquaintances.
When adversity struck and knocked their vehicle out of commission, bus travel didn't hold the same allure.
Steve called her mother Vivian and told her she wanted to come back to N.Y. Like any mom who could afford to handle the situation Vivian bought her a ticket and waited for her to land back in New York City.
That phone call to her mom from a Pittsburgh bus station was the final time her family was in touch. When she didn't appear after the scheduled arrival of the bus at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan the fear of something awful gripped her family.
Stevie was somewhat of an unusual missing persons case. So said Gary Wisker of the Yonkers, N.Y. police department. Why? Because she was in regular and frequent contact with her mother.
The fact that the case had to be handled from Yonkers, in Westchester County was part of Vivian's angst when she tried to file a missing person's report in New York City, and it only served to slow the commencement of the investigation.
Ultimately, it was found that Stevie did get on the bus and arrive at the Port Authority terminal. Surveillance camera footage from the terminal spotted her coming up an escalator.
Where she went after that is unknown.
Stevie had been a bit depressed in the months leading up to her disappearance. She had dropped out of school after the death of two people very close to her.
She had taken up the cause of Occupy Wall Street and grew distant from her regular friends, preferring to be with the Occupy protestors.
She met a 29 year-old man named Brandon during that time and they became close. He was described as living a "nomadic" lifestyle.
Vivian didn't approve of the relationship, wondering why a man of that age would want to date someone of Stevie's age.
During the final call with her mother, Stevie said she was going to go to Brandon's place to pick up some of her things and then she would be home.
It was why Vivian didn't completely panic when she didn't hear from her daughter immediately after the scheduled arrival of the bus.
Yonkers police spent time with Brandon and after hours of interviewing him concluded that not only didn't he see Stevie after she landed back in N.Y., but he was clueless as to her whereabouts.
Vivian and Stevie's siblings cannot accept that she blithely walked out of the bus terminal and chose to drop out of contact. The surveillance tapes show her arriving alone and looking like nothing was troubling her.
Detective Wisker said, "It's like Stevie fell off the face of the earth." There are no leads and no official theories about the case.
TV One is working in conjunction with the Black and Missing Foundation to highlight the disappearance of people of color. Check out more facts about Stevie Bates through this link.
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TV One moves Find Our Missing to Mondays starting with the next episode, that airs at 9:00 p.m. ET/8CT Image: Stevie Bates/TVOne website