PALM BAY, Fla. - The family of missing 22-year-old Marsharie Lemons-Garrett will turn to the public Friday to plead for the woman's return in a case that continues to build as a mystery for Palm Bay police.
So far, detectives say there is no immediate indication of any foul play or an abduction, but Lemons-Garrett's family and members of Florida's Nation of Islam community she worshipped with are readying for a canvass-styled search of the area on Saturday.
"There are three parts to our plea, one is that if it is the case, we make a plea to whoever may have our dear (sister), to find it in their hearts to let her go. The second is to urge the community to please call the police if they see anything," said Student Minister Abram Muhammad, assistant regional minister of the Seventh Region of the Nation of Islam.
"We are also calling on anyone who will be willing to volunteer a couple of hours this Saturday to help us with a search. We will also be conducting a door-to-door campaign," he said, adding that members of the Nation from across the state are arriving in Palm Bay to set up the operation.
Lemons-Garrett, described by family associates as emotionally troubled, was last seen by Marsha Muhammad, her mother, about 9 p.m. June 22 at her home on Oaklyn Street near the Turkey Creek Sanctuary. Her family said Lemons-Garrett frequently walked in and around the wooded area.
"She's very gifted musically and has even composed songs. Conversation with her would consist of that…you would not be engaged in a two-minute conversation without music coming up," Muhammad said, adding that the family is also turning to faith and prayer as the weeks since Lemons-Garrett has been seen go without any substantial clues to her disappearance.
"Faith is everything that is holding the believing community together right now, our trust and faith in God. We know that his will will prevail and that we will get closure. All of the good calls and well-wishes are much appreciated, but it is the faith that is sustaining us," Muhammad said.
Lemons-Garrett was wearing a pair of purple Winnie the Pooh pajamas.
Lemons-Garrett is described as having short, braided black hair. Her socks and shoes were also found in a nearby wooded area the same day she was reported missing.
Since then, police searched the vegetation-heavy, muddied area with all-terrain vehicles, K-9s and aerial patrols by the Brevard County sheriff's helicopter, along with the department's own powered-paraglider. Detectives also passed out fliers and distributed Lemons-Garrett's photos.
"We are using every available resource and following every lead," Palm Bay police Sgt. Ken Arnold said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 321-952-3456 or 800-423-TIPS.
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