Sheena Gibbs

Sheena Gibbs: Missing Cancer Survivor’s Disappearance Classified as ‘High Risk’

In the Rogers Park neighborhood north of downtown Chicago, a mural of Sheena Gibbs is painted on the brick wall of the Glenwood Bar.

To passersby, the green, pink and purple portrait is one of the numerous colorful paintings along Glenwood Avenue in one of the city’s most diverse districts.

But to Gibbs’ family, the painting is a piercing reminder that Sheena — their Sheena— is missing.

“I remember the last words that she said to me is, ‘I love you Aunt Nita’ and that just rings in my head over and over and over,” Vernita Oliver, Sheena’s aunt, told WGN News.

Family members say they last heard from Sheena on November 3, 2021, when she was supposed to drive to Iowa to visit her mother, who was in the hospital. She never made it.

At the time she went missing, Sheena, then 40, was working at the University of Illinois Chicago helping people schedule COVID-19 tests.

Sheena was living in Rogers Park, which abuts Lake Michigan, and was reportedly last seen near Sheridan and Greenleaf streets. She is a cancer survivor, social justice activist, and graduate of the prestigious Northwestern University.

Sheena had moved to the Chicago area two decades earlier from rural Iowa.

“Sheena is a go-getter,” Lela Tarver, another aunt, told WGN News. “She’s very strong-willed and positive.”

Police have classified her disappearance as “high risk,” which means she may be in danger of injury or death, although the basis for that classification is not clear. A flier about Sheena states that her disappearance is believed to be “the result of a crime,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Investigators have not been able to track Sheena’s phone, possibly because it has been shut off. Cousin Chris Dixon said prior to Sheena vanishing, she always stayed in touch with loved ones.

“Before her disappearance, she was in regular contact with family and we have not heard anything from her since then,” Dixon told WLS-TV. “So it’s obviously very disturbing. We are very, very concerned.”

The family is begging anyone with information to come forward and share what they know.

“I just ask people to think about if it was your loved one, what would you do?” Dixon told WLS-TV. “You want somebody to come forward with information and so that’s just what we’re asking people to do the same for us.”

At the time she disappeared, Sheena was 5-foot-9 and weighed around 180 pounds, with black, shoulder-length hair.

Oliver, one of Sheena’s aunts, said she wants her niece to know that the family will never give up on her.

“We will never stop looking for you. We love you,” Oliver said, according to WGN News.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to locating Sheena. To report information about her disappearance, call Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP (7867) or leave an anonymous tip at

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[Featured image: Police Handout]