Akia Eggleston was 35 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy when she didn’t show up for her baby shower. Six months later, and there’s no sign of the young Maryland mother–leading authorities to believe that something sinister is at play.
Eggleston, 23, was last seen on May 3 outside her home in Baltimore. It wasn’t until May 7 that her family contacted police as she failed to show up for her own baby shower.
Details about Eggleston’s disappearance remain scarce. What is known is how relatives found Eggleston’s residence and how it didn’t alarm investigators at first.
“The only thing left in her apartment was her bed and a couple of dressers. It looked like she had moved out but we know she couldn’t move anything because of her high-risk pregnancy. She could barely walk,” the 22-year-old’s stepfather, Shawn Wilkinson, 40, told NewsOne in June.
“It makes no sense.”
Wilkinson said that Baltimore police ruled out family members as suspects. He also claimed that the expectant mother was on bed rest and would deliver her baby via a cesarian.
Fast forward a few weeks and police are now open to the possibility that Eggleston–a mother to a 3-year-old girl–didn’t leave on her own accord.
“At this state, I think we’re prepared to pivot, that foul play is something that we’re absolutely exploring,” Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said during a news conference in late July. “We’re obviously beyond the point where she could have given birth.”
And it appears that authorities have reached a dead end. In early November, the FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information about the pregnant woman’s whereabouts. At the time, officials revealed that there has been no activity on her social media or bank accounts. They also claimed that she hasn’t admitted herself to any hospitals.
“We have exhausted every investigative means,” Baltimore police Chief Stanley Brandford said at the time.
However, Baltimore police confirmed the existence of surveillance footage that showed Eggleston on the day of her disappearance. Authorities claimed that a family friend took her to multiple banks on May 7 to withdraw money.
“The bank surveillance shows us at the bank by herself. She doesn’t look disheveled, she doesn’t look like she’s under any kind of stress, she’s there on her own,” Detective Michael Reno told Crime Watch Daily. “She presents a cashier’s check to the teller, she receives cash, and she leaves.”
What was the money for? Detective Reno said the expectant mother pulled out “a lot” of money because she was planning to buy a house with the baby’s father. He also claimed police uncovered text messages between Eggleston and her roommate that indicated that she was moving out to live with him. His explanation might explain why police didn’t suspect foul play upon seeing the cleaned-out Baltimore apartment.
Detective Reno went on to say that the family friend was never considered a person of interest and that she’s been cooperative throughout their investigation.
“She was duped. Or she started a new life somewhere with a new name,” he said of Eggleston.
Loved ones are holding out hope that they’ll hear from Eggleston‒and her infant child. But with no crime scene or sign of the mother, they are desperate for someone to step forward with any information that could crack this case wide open.
Her stepfather told WBAL in November, “Akia has a young 3-year-old toddler that is asking for her on a daily basis, and we have no real answers to give her.”
Eggleston is described as being 4 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about Akia Shawnta Eggleston’s whereabouts is urged to contact the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office at 410-265-8080 or the Baltimore City Police Department at 410-396-2499.
[Featured Image: Akia Eggleston/FBI]