GONE WITHOUT A TRACE: a mother fights to find her daughter missing for 6 years
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A young Richmond mother vanishes without a trace. Her family believes she was taken in the night, and for six long years, her two boys still wonder what happened.
On October 9, 2010, two young boys woke up alone. Their mother, 24-year-old Unique Harris, was gone. Here is what we know about Unique's disappearance:
Unique with her sons before her disappearance.
Her glasses, which she needed in order to see anything, were neatly folded on her pillow.
The glasses that Unique needed to be able to see. Folded just like she left them.
The bed had not been slept in. Her purse, her ID, her money, where all left behind.
Unique's purse that was left.
Her jacket was also left behind.
Her mother has never washed her jacket and says it still smells like her daughter.
The only things missing along with Unique were the keys to her apartment and her cell phone. She did not own a car.
The apartment building Unique had just moved into 5 weeks earlier.
Unique had moved a few weeks earlier to DC from Richmond. She wanted to be closer to her mother and wanted to make a fresh start. Before that, she had lived in Richmond for years. She graduated from John Marshall High School. Both of her sons were born in Richmond.
Photo of Unique when she graduated from high school in Richmond.
On the night Unique disappeared, she and her sons and her young cousin watched a movie and ate popcorn together. The boys went to bed, leaving their mother sitting on the couch. Their last memory with their mom is her telling them, "goodnight."
Since her disappearance, Unique's mother, Valencia Harris, has been looking for her tirelessly. She says her daughter "would have NEVER EVER left those children in that apartment by themselves."
Unique's sons sit on the front steps of the apartment building, the last place they saw their mother.
She wants her daughter to know that her mother is looking for her and won't give up. "I will look for her with the last breathe in my body. The last 6 years of my life are a testament to that. Hold on until Momma finds you. Because I am going to find her. I am turning this world upside down."
Unique's mother passes out fliers near where her daughter was last seen.
Her mother believes that someone took her daughter. DC police have been looking for Unique and the case remains open to this day.
Unique's family does not think Unique would just leave. They say she was starting a new life. She had only been in her new, DC apartment for 5 weeks. She enrolled her children in daycare. She had found a new church to go to and was taking the boys there. She had also enrolled in school.
Unique had just moved from Richmond to Washington before she vanished.
The last call to her cell phone was at 3 AM.
Unique's mother and DC police are hoping that someone in Richmond, the place where she grew up and raised her sons in the first years of their lives, will know something that could help with the investigation.
Valencia Harris wipes away a tear as she tell Rachel DePompa she doesn't know if her daughter is still alive or not.
Her family believes Unique was abducted. Her mother has a message for anyone who might know something about what happened to her daughter. "Somebody has probably been holding this on their conscious for the last almost 7 years now and it's getting to the point where my heavenly creator is working on them to the point where they're ready to tell because something like this doesn't happen and nobody knows what happened. I know there's someone out there that knows exactly what happened to my daughter. My appeal to them is, release your soul from this demon because only god knows at this point where my daughter is and what happened to her and who did it to her."
Her family refuses to stop looking for her.
There was no evidence of foul play or forced entry into her apartment but police have classified this as a criminal investigation and not just a missing persons case because they believe the circumstanced surrounding her disappearance are suspicious.
The doorknob and apartment number from the home Unique disappeared from.
Her mother says she had recently witnessed through her window, a murder, which remains unsolved to this day, in the park across the street from her new apartment.
Unique had no history of drug abuse and had no problems with her family at the time of her disappearance.
She was last seen wearing a white shirt, gray pants, and a sterling silver necklace that was secured with a safety pin at the clasp at her apartment on the 2400 block of Hartford St. SE in Washington, DC.
Another view of the apartment where Unique had been living.
She has her sons' names, Richard and U'Andre' tattooed on her lower back and her own name on her upper arm. She had pierced ears and a mole on her upper lip.
She is 5'7" tall and weighed around 130 lbs. She has brown hair and brown eyes. At the time of her disappearance she had auburn highlights.
A picture of Unique taken around the time of her disappearance.
If you have any information that could help solve the mystery of Unique's disappearance and help her mother find peace after all these years, please call the Metropolitan Police at (202) 727-9099. You can also send in a tip anonymously by calling 1-888-919-CRIME or by texting the tip line at 50411.
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