As the family of a missing 30-year-old woman waits for any sign of hope, the Tallahassee Police Department raised the reward Wednesday, offering $10,000 to anyone with information that could bring Ali I’isha Gilmore home safely.
Gilmore, who is a Florida A&M University graduate, has not been seen or heard from since Feb. 3.
The search for her grows more desperate with each passing day because Gilmore was four months pregnant when she went missing. Foul play is a factor that has started to work into the minds of the investigators from TPD who are working the case.
“The reason we’re growing more suspicious of foul play is because of the time that anyone has talked to Ali. It’ll be three weeks on Friday since anyone has seen or heard from her,” said John Newland, spokesperson for TPD.
Gilmore’s family became suspicious after she did not report to either one of her jobs, which according to her sister, is not like her.
“People think that since she’s not a child, they think she may have gotten fed up with life and wandered off. That’s not the case. That’s not like her at all,” said Tracy Smith, Gilmore’s oldest sister and spokesperson for the family.
Gilmore’s family, who resides in West Palm Beach, has been working closely with the TPD since she went missing. Family members said they were satisfied with the work the department is doing to locate Gilmore.
Bishop Thomas Masters, who pastors the Gilmore family, and performed Ali’s wedding ceremony agreed, saying the department has been very accessible and upfront thus far.
“I am impressed with the efforts of the local police department, but it takes a grassroots effort to put the spotlight on the case so that it can get the type of national audience and attention that other cases, particularly white cases in America get.”
As part of that effort, FAMU’s Student Government Association is using every available avenue to help locate the alumna.
“One of the things we’re doing is using the resources of SGA. We’ll be running ads on the radio station, and we have a student chair who will help coordinate the search,” said SGA President Ramon Alexander, 21, a senior political science student from Tallahassee.
“We have an obligation to do whatever it takes to ensure that FAMU plays a major role in helping to locate this young woman.”
Bishop Thomas, who originally contacted SGA to solicit their assistance, said the university will help propel this story into the national spotlight so that it can get the attention he thinks it deserves.
“I feel that her alumni is going to be the launching pad for this entire community to get involved and follow the lead of FAMU and others in the search efforts and community efforts, and volunteerism, doing all that we can do to help find this young lady.”
Along with alumni, TPD has made this case their top priority.
“Right now this is our number one case. We have six investigators who are looking into this along with several others. We’re putting as much effort and time as we can into this because we know time is crucial,” Newland said.
In the meantime, Gilmore’s family can only sit and wait, and hope for a positive outcome.
“They’re remaining prayerful and vigilant,” Thomas said. “I’ve been talking to (the family) almost every hour. Their spirits have been lifted just to know that students, staff, and the FAMU community is getting involved.”
Angela Williams, president and founder of Mothers Against Murderers, came to support Thomas as he helped support the family.
“We’re very concerned. There’s some red flags that have gone up here,” Williams said.
“The parents and family are grieving. They need to know where their child is. People don’t just disappear like that.”
Newland is encouraging anyone with any information on Gilmore’s whereabouts to contact TPD immediately.
“Please come forward if you have any information. Don’t just do it for us, do it for the family,” Newland said.
“They need to know where she is. They deserve to know where she is.”
Contact Sidney Wright IV at firstname.lastname@example.org