The first day at a new job can be stressful – especially when your shift starts at 5 am. But on March 15, 2019, Najah Ferrell was ready for her first day of work at a Panera Bread restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana. She woke up at 3 am at her home in Avon, Indiana, a suburb 50 km west of Indianapolis, to get ready.
"She got up for work and said [her fiancé] Paula Gholson, mother of Najah, told WTHR, affiliated with NBC. "He said it was the last time he saw her."
In fact, this is the last time anyone has seen Najah. The 30-year-old mother has never been able to get to her first day of work. The family started to worry when Najah did not manage to get her children to school that same day.
"I knew then. I said, "Something is wrong." Because it's not Najah, "said his mother Paula.
Najah's younger sister, Azaria Joseph, told Dateline that her mother, Paula, had initially reported the disappearance of Najah to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, as they thought something had happened in Najah while she was worked in Indianapolis. When the investigators discovered that Najah had never been able to work, the case was transferred to the Avon Police Department, who last saw him.
"Our investigation began immediately Monday night," Det. Nugent told Dateline. "We have tried to communicate with mobile phone providers and have prepared and submitted several search terms."
The next day, the investigators interviewed neighbors, friends and family members, including Najah's fiancé, who would have been the last person to see her. Detective Nugent added that all interviewed parties cooperated with their investigation.
"In the absence of any information suggesting that anyone knows where it is, unfair play is at the forefront of our theories," said the detective. Said Nugent. "For her to be absent from this long unexplained and unforeseen act – a criminal act is certainly a possibility." The detective added that the authorities could not name one or more suspects in the disappearance of Najah at that time.
"We use the phrase" it's as if it's gone, "but I want to say here and now: there's nothing like it," said Najah's aunt, Rhondel Gowdy, to local media. nobody knows anything. "
During interviews with people who know Najah, the police were not able to discover anything unusual that could have caused Najah's sudden disappearance.
"We really do not learn anything that led to that. It's almost as frustrating as it is inexplicable, Det. Said Nugent. "Everything was normal and then, suddenly, she left."
While Det. Nugent declined to comment on the areas and / or items covered by the search warrants, he told Dateline investigators. They conducted ground searches at Najah's home, as well as air raids in nearby woods. Najah's car, a black Nissan Altima 2018 with Indiana XOM936 registration plate, is also missing.
The investigators "commit all our resources" and "all our time," according to Det. Nugent, but he said that there had been frustrating delays in the process.
"The mobile company is responding slowly to provide us with the data we need," he said. "It has certainly been a very frustrating part of the process for us."
He also added that a case of missing persons unrelated to Indianapolis, located nearby, had diluted some resources. An air raid near a local highway is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, based on a det. Nugent's hopes will be promising.
"The area we are looking for [Tuesday] relates to a movable property found next to a road ", Det. Nugent told Dateline. He was unable to specify what object had been found, but he confirmed that it belonged to Najah.
"We try to stay patient with the detectives because they work. There is only so much [Det. Nugent] can say and as long as I can do. We do not want to stop anything they do, "Najah's younger sister, Azaria, told Dateline. She added that the extended family from all over the country had come to Indiana for help. "It's very difficult, we had an overflowing love, but we really want my sister to come back."
"It's a priority for our investigators. It's not something we take lightly, "Det. Nugent told Dateline. "We invest 100% in families and investigators work around the clock."
Najah is described as being 5'4 "and weighing about 180 pounds. If you have any information about the circumstances of his disappearance, please call Crime Stoppers of Indiana at 317-262-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.