NBC 4 New York
A Yonkers woman is desperately searching for her 65-year-old minister mother, who simply walked off and hasn't been seen for days. Sightings on surveillance video, obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York, may provide clues. Marc Santia reports.
A 65-year-old New York minister struggling with health issues is missing, and surveillance video shows her appearing confused the morning she went missing.
Ethel Monroe, who often answers to the name Trish, wandered from her Yonkers home at daybreak Sunday morning dressed in church clothes, according to her daughter Daqueen Monroe. The older woman has been struggling with cognitive issues recently, and also has ovarian cancer.
"I'm more scared that she's being harmed, and I'm more scared that she needs my help and I'm not there," said Daqueen Monroe.
Surveillance video from Sunday shows Ethel Monroe wandering in front of Pizza Pizza on Warburton Avenue in Yonkers. Wearing a dress, jacket, hat and flip-flops, and clutching a purse, Ethel takes a seat on the bench in front of the restaurant. She appears confused and leaves after 27 seconds.
When she left, she was allegedly spotted four more times by people across Westchester County, from Yonkers to Elmsford. Yonkers Police Chief William Cave said bloodhounds tracked a scent to Hungar Park, near Ardsley.
"We've been up there for two days searching the wooded paths with ATVs, officers on foot, and helicopters," said Cave.
Automated phone calls were also being made across the city, according to the mayor.
"Alerts are being sent to residents and businesses, and people are now joining the search," said Mayor Mike Spano.
Daqueen Monroe said the chemo treatment for her mother's cancer has turned her hair white and given her a noticeable limp that's visible on the security tape.
A prayer service was held for Ethel Monroe Wednesday night at the Love Tabernacle Church.
"She's a wonderful, loving person," said the pastor there. "She's been a minister in our church for 20 years."
Daqueen Monroe holds on to hope by listening to her mom's voice captured in a phone message recorded three days before Ethel disappeared.
Ethel Monroe said in the message, "Hello, please call back it's your mother. It's important."
"I can't go on with my life like it's nothing," said Daqueen Monroe. "I need to know where she is."
"Ma I love you. I'm trying to find you."