A body recovered Saturday from the Scioto River has been identified as community activist Amber Evans, who had been missing since Jan. 28.
Evans, 28, reportedly had a dispute with her boyfriend the afternoon of her disappearance, and her vehicle was found in the Scioto Mile area Downtown. Police found her phone in another part of the Scioto Mile.
Police have said since the beginning of the investigation that there were no known domestic violence issues in Evans’ relationship and there was no reason to suspect foul play.
The Columbus Police Special Victim’s Unit and Dive Team found the body Saturday morning near the Whittier Peninsula and the Brewery District, police said.
Evans had been active in community justice organizations for several years. She was a key organizer of protests at Columbus City Hall, was heavily involved with the People’s Justice Project and recently had become executive director of the Juvenile Justice Coalition.
The night she disappeared, a search was conducted along the river by canine units and patrol officers as well as a sheriff’s office drone using infrared technology, said Commander Alex Behnen of the police Special Victims Bureau.
The next day, the dive team went out in boats and made a search of the river. Additional searches were conducted by the dive team, but the weather and water levels and current were not cooperative through much of the winter, he said.
Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a master’s in Library and Information Sciences from Kent State University.
According to a biography on the Juvenile Justice Coalition website, she began student organizing in 2011 with Occupy OSU, a group inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Tonya Fischer, Evans’ mother, posted a message on her Facebook page on Sunday, asking reporters to “give her a moment.”
“I just lost my first born child,” Fischer said.
Fischer said the family plans to have a memorial vigil at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Scioto Mile. Other arrangements are pending.