Although the alleged killer of Stepha Henry was arrested and charged with murder in New York City last week, the victim's mother, Sylvia Henry, won't believe her daughter is dead until a body is recovered.
"I know they have someone in custody, but until they find my daughter I am not giving up. I believe in the Lord and will continue praying until they locate my daughter, Stepha, " Henry said on Sunday afternoon while being interviewed on the Andre Eggelletion radio show, WFTL-AM (850), from her home in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Henry said she was pleased with the work the Miami-Dade and New York City police departments were doing. And she is convinced that Kendrick Williams, 32, is responsible for her 22-year-old daughter's disappearance.
Last Tuesday, Miami-Dade detectives and the New York Police Department Intelligence Division Fugitive Task Force arrested Williams as he slept in a car at Brooklyn's Canarsie Pier.
Never miss a local story.
Williams was charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. Police did not explain the latter charge.
Police believe Williams killed Henry on May 29, 2007, after picking her up from her aunt's North Miami-Dade apartment in his black Acura Integra and taking her to a nightclub.
A videotape taken at Peppers Cafe in Sunrise shows Williams and Henry at the club.
Police said the Acura Integra, which was recovered in September in South Florida, contained a substantial amount of the victim's blood. "No one could survive with that loss of blood, " Miami-Dade Assistant Police Director Jim Loftus said last week during a news conference.
The victim's mother said Sunday that she could not discuss the blood evidence, noting that police are still investigating, but she stressed -- as she has since her daughter's disappearance -- that she hopes that her daughter is still alive.
Previously, police have said that the suspect and the victim had been acquaintances. During the radio interview Sunday, Sylvia Henry agreed that Williams was no stranger to her daughter and that the two knew each other through mutual friends.
Henry was disappointed when she came to Florida last spring shortly after her daughter's disappearance and saw little media coverage about the crime.
When Henry returned to New York and told officials at John Jay College -- where her daughter had just graduated with honors -- about the lack of media coverage, the college stepped in. She credits John Jay for having contacted every print and television media outlet in sight, which helped spur national media interest in the case.
"The media did a good job, " said Henry, who says she gets lots of calls from the media for updates. "They [even] camped out around my house to get the story."
Henry urged listeners to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 if they have any information, no matter how minor, about her daughter.