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‘The details are kind of sketchy’: Questions surround disappearance of missing Savannah Payne as police search harbor

Investigators in Baltimore, Maryland, are continuing the search for a missing 26-year-old woman who disappeared after a night out with friends celebrating her birthday.

As previously reported, Tara “Savannah” Payne, who goes by the name Savannah, had gone out with friends in the Canton area of Baltimore on Monday night to celebrate her birthday. She was separated from the group at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, but some reports indicate she may have remained in the Canton waterfront area, which borders Baltimore Harbor, for up to two hours.

According to WJZ-13, police suspect the 26-year-old woman may have fallen into the harbor, but have not said why they believe this. Police dive teams searched the water Wednesday and are continuing to search the Inner Harbor on Thursday morning, a police spokesperson confirmed.

Brian Siwinski, a long time family friend, spoke to WJZ-13 Thursday morning at the scene of the harbor search.

“I don’t want to think about why the boats are here,” he said. “We all know why the boats are here. But that’s worst case.”

Siwinski also shared the little he knows about the circumstances of Payne’s disappearance.

“It was her birthday, she was in Canton, they were having a good time with some friends,” Siwinski told the news station. “After that, the details are kind of sketchy.”

As previously reported, Baltimore police have Payne’s phone and also found her purse. Asked how and exactly when police first came into possession of Payne’s phone, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department said he could not confirm the time of the initial missing persons report, and said he believes a family member contacted police after Payne did not return from her birthday night out. The spokesperson, Detective Davis, said detectives were able to locate the phone through the “Find my phone” function, likely with the help of Payne’s family and/or friends. Davis also confirmed that Payne’s purse was found on or near Boston street, but could not confirm if Payne’s phone was inside her purse or elsewhere.

According to WMAR, Payne was reported missing on Tuesday after she did appear for a scheduled birthday lunch with her aunt.

A woman believed to be the same aunt wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday that her niece did not show up to their lunch. When she called Payne’s cell phone, Baltimore police answered, she wrote.

it’s a freaking nightmare; my niece Savannah Payne didn’t show up for lunch w/me today to celebrate her birthday; when I…

Posted by Terry Stopowski Moritz on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Payne’s aunt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The BPD’s homicide unit has reportedly taken over the investigation, but police have not said publicly that they suspect foul play. Detective Davis told CrimeOnline that homicide detectives are leading the investigation since it is a high-profile case.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police at (410) 396-2100.

This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.