Activist Quanell X calls out mayor, police chief in search efforts for missing Black woman

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Monday, August 9, 2021
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Shawtyeria Waites was last seen nearly two weeks ago on Chimney Rock Road, and according to activist Quanell X, very little has been done to help find her.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Community activist Quanell X is asking the public's help in the search for a missing woman who was last seen nearly two weeks ago on the night of her birthday in southwest Houston.

Shawtyeria Waites disappeared from the 8900 block of Chimney Rock Road near Braeswood on July 27. According to Quanell, Waites was with two other young girls that night.

Those two women shared details of that night with Quanell. They said they had all met a man while at the club earlier that night. That man then invited them to an apartment complex after the club, Quanell said.

Witnesses told Quanell they remember seeing Waites enter the apartment complex, but have no recollection of what door she knocked on. Meanwhile the other two women had gone to a store down the street.

"This is not to disparage anyone, but the young girls had been dancing at a nightclub, and they thought that they might want to come here and make a few extra dollars," Quanell said during a press conference Sunday afternoon. "[The man] had large sums of money on him and was spending large sums of money at the strip club."

The two women said that when they came back from the store, they called Waites' phone but there was no answer. Shortly after, her phone was cut off completely, Quanell said.

"This beautiful young Black sister goes into this apartment complex and completely disappears off the human radar screen," he said. "We believe this sister was met with foul play. We believe the man they met at the club never was a friendly man, never had friendly intentions. We believe that this was a trap to lure and kidnap these girls."

Quanell also said that after some investigating, they found the apartment Waites was believed to have visited is a vacant unit and no one lived there.

"Not knowing where she is has been trying on our family," said Waites' great-uncle, Leonard, who was also present at the briefing.

Quanell urged the public for help, and called out officials such as Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner for their lack of response to the case.

"We have a Black mayor and a Black police chief," he said. "If these were three white girls that came to this apartment complex, they would be swarming this place trying to get answers, but no one really cares when it's a brown or Black girl involved."

According to him, the other two women involved said that detectives have had very little conversations with them.

"[Detectives] are not really pushing this case. It's not a priority to them," Quanell said.

Waites was wearing a pink dress, pink sandals and was wearing a long, black curly hair wig, according to Houston police. Waites is a 20-year-old Black female with black hair and brown eyes. She's 5-feet 9-inches tall and weighs around 130 pounds.

If you have any information about Waites' disappearance, call the Houston Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 832-394-1840 or 911.