New York City police on Wednesday renewed its call for help in the search for a Queens woman who mysteriously vanished from her neighborhood last year.
Maria Brabazon, 55, was last seen on Sept. 5, 2015 and her family is still wondering what has happened to her and where she could have gone. They have hired a private investigator.
According to Mark Pucci, vice president and chief investigator at Beau Dietl & Associates, Brabazon was last caught on a neighbor’s surveillance video walking away from her 14th Avenue home with what appeared to be a canvas bag on her shoulder.
Prior to that, the Whitestone resident was seen in other surveillance video going about her day, which started when she received a summons on her minivan at about 8:30 a.m., Pucci said. About an hour later she went to a nearby gas station to fix her expired inspection.
On video, Brabazon appears to be acting normal and in good spirits and was speaking with customers and staff at the gas station., according to Pucci. After an hour she left and was later seen at around 11:25 at a register at BJs Wholesale in Whitestone.
Afterward, she also contacted family members around 2:30 p.m. and last spoke to a close friend around 2:45 p.m., Pucci said.
Minutes later is when Brabazon was captured by her neighbor’s surveillance camera near 14th Avenue and 152nd Street.
According to Pucci, her husband, Peter, said he did not know his wife owned the bag she was seen carrying in the video and her family pointed out that she had seemed to be “walking away with purpose.”
In the video she is seen crossing the street and making a turn toward the Whitestone Shopping Center. That was the last time anyone saw her.
“She almost appears to vanish into thin air,” Pucci said.
The chief investigator said that Brabazon was not dealing with any issues in her family that were out of the ordinary but two of her daughters and her daughter-in-law were pregnant at the time she disappeared. One of her daughters was just one month shy of giving birth.
In the past few months, private investigators have used cadaver dog teams to search local wooded areas, underneath the Throgs Neck Bridge and along the coastline.
He added that since disappearing Brabazon has not reached out to family or friends.
“It’s not a rule but more often than not, if the person did willfully walk away at some point they may have that moment of weakness where they long to hear a family member’s voice,” he said.
Police describe Brabazon as 5 feet 5 inches tall, 125 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing black leggings and a white shirt.
Brabazon’s family is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone that comes up with information that could lead to finding her.
“It’s really just a waiting game now,” Pucci said.
Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.