Two years have passed since a 22-year-old Baltimore woman seemingly vanished a few days before her baby shower, but FBI investigators say the missing persons case has not gone cold.
Akia Eggleston was eight months pregnant when family members first reported her missing in 2017. The expectant mother, who also had a young daughter, was last seen May 3, 2017, around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor — just a few days before she was supposed to attend a baby shower for the arrival of her newborn son.
But family say she never made it to the May 7 party. There was no activity on her social media accounts and cellphone, no bank withdrawals, no sign of her at hospitals or bus stations since she disappeared, The Baltimore Sun reported at the time.
“I do work on this investigation every single day,” said Special Agent Patrick S. Dugan, with the FBI’s violent crimes task force in Baltimore. “We’re not going to stop. This investigation is going to continue with Baltimore Police and the FBI until we solve the mystery of Akia’s disappearance.”
The young woman’s stepfather, Shawn Wilkinson, said the phrase “vanished without a trace” is the only way to describe Eggleston’s absence.
“The whole family is just baffled,” Wilkinson said.
Eggleston’s pregnancy was high-risk, and the birth of her son was unlikely without medical assistance, he said. When her June due date passed, that’s when Wilkinson said police started to suspect foul play.
True crime podcast “The Vanished” released an episode exploring new details in the case, including interviews with family members. In the episode, Wilkinson, tells podcast producers the young woman’s debit card was found a few months after her disappearance in some bushes.
FBI officials declined to say whether they’ve located Eggleston’s phone or identified any suspects or people of interest in the case. But they’ve established a “decent time frame” for when she may have disappeared, Dugan said.
Dugan is continuing to conduct interviews and collect information in hopes of moving the case forward, he said.
Investigators have placed billboards around Baltimore that advertise Eggleston’s photo and the $25,000 reward for information in her case, according to Dave Fitz, a spokesman for the FBI’s Baltimore field office.
After two years, Wilkinson knows the people in Eggelston’s life have moved on. Still, he’s convinced someone out there knows or saw something that could help find his daughter.