The human remains of a missing Berkeley, Mo,, Black woman have been found.
Police identified remains found in Kinloch, Mo., as those of Monica Elaine Sykes, who went missing in October of last year, KMOV reports.
Sykes, 25, was last seen five months ago and police say she left her Berkeley home and got in a white car. The woman’s family had offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to Sykes’ return.
Earlier this month, Robert Howard was reportedly placed on administrative leave from the Berkeley Police Department for his ties to Sykes.
The day before Sykes went missing, she allegedly spent the night at Howard’s home. While Berkeley Police Department Interim Chief Capt. Art Jackson said Howard wasn’t a suspect or person of interest in the case, he is no longer a member of the force.
Jackson did not give more details as to why Howard had been let go. Investigating officials have yet to release Sykes’ cause of death to the public.
Cases of African-American women disappearing seem to be on the rise. In Washington, D.C. alone, there are currently 12 open cases of missing Black and Latina women and girls in the city.
It takes 3.2 secs to retweet and help find these 8 BLACK GIRLS reported missing in Washington, D.C. during the past three days (1/2) pic.twitter.com/xpEwNcW44S
— Black Marvel Girl (@BlackMarvelGirl) March 13, 2017
As of 2014, there were 64,000 Black women and girls who remain missing in the United States.