Body of Activist Amber Evans Recovered from Ohio’s Scioto River

After a months-long intensive search, the body of community activist Amber Evans was recovered from Ohio’s Scioto River over the weekend. The Columbus Ohio Police announced the news Sunday, adding that the search was conducted in tandem with members of the Columbus Police Dive and the Special Victims Bureau. “While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them,” the police tweeted.

Evans, 28, had been missing since January 28 after a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, according to police. She went to work that morning, but left after a 5:30 p.m. meeting because she “wasn’t feeling well,” according to her coworkers. Her car was found later in the evening in the Scioto Mile area of downtown Columbus and her phone was found in another part of the area the following day. Evans was reported as a “distraught high-risk” missing person due to the earlier domestic dispute.

Speaking to local press in February, Evans’ mother hoped for her safe return. “I don’t want to think the worst,” Tonya Fischer told ABC 6 at the time. “I don’t want to think anything besides that my baby’s just clearing her head.” When news that police had recovered Evans’ body came out, Fischer made an impassioned Facebook live video. "I'm coming on here as a mother...who has just found out that I lost my first-born child," Fischer said. "I love you all, and you all know I'm more than willing to accept all that you have to give... but just give me a moment. Just a moment. Give my family a moment." The organization Showing Up for Racial Justice released a statement from lead organizer Tynan Krakoff following the tragic news.

“Anyone who knew Amber knows that she was extremely disciplined and dedicated to struggling for a better world. She treated everyone with dignity and when you spoke, it always felt like she truly was listening. She was a fighter and we will continue her legacy,” Krakoff said on Sunday.

Evans was a prominent local organizer who had worked with several social justice groups since 2015, including the Juvenile Justice Coalition where she had been promoted to executive director weeks prior to her disappearance, The Root reported. She played an important role in protests at Columbus City Hall and was involved with the People’s Justice Project, a nonprofit that organizes communities of color in Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch noted.

Brian Peters, Evans’ father, told NBC’s Dateline, “I am just happy that we have found her.” He also wrote on a Facebook page created in Evans’ memory that “this is still an open and ongoing investigation,” noting that “your prayers are welcomed and appreciated but please let us mourn and let my baby rest!”


About the Author

Robert Valencia is the breaking news editor for The North Star. His work as editor and reporter appeared on Newsweek, World Politics Review, Mic.com, Public Radio International and The Miami Herald, among other outlets. He’s a frequent commentator on foreign affairs and US politics on Al Jazeera English, CNN en Español, Univision, Telemundo, Voice of America, C-SPAN, Sirius XM and other media outlets across Latin America and the Caribbean.