August 12, 2022

Excellent Pix

Unlimited Technology

Family of missing woman say police let laptop charger, cracked phone screen slow search | Crime & Courts

MANCHESTER — Family members of Sherrian Howe, the missing Manchester woman, said Thursday that police told them they’re are unable to get into Sherrian’s laptop because the laptop’s battery is dead and they don’t have a charger.

The family also said that police couldn’t gain access into Sherrian’s cellphone because it had a cracked screen, and they are just now trying to get it fixed.

Manchester spokesman Lt. Ryan Shea wasn’t immediately available to respond to the claims, which were made during Thursday’s family-sponsored news conference outside of the Manchester Police Department headquarters. Shea had previously said that police continue to follow any leads in the case and encourage anyone with information to call them at 860-645-5500.

On Wednesday, police met with the family to discuss their investigation into Sherrian’s disappearance almost two months ago and answer the family’s questions. During that meeting, the family said, they learned police still couldn’t get access to Sherrian’s phone and laptop.

“A charger is probably $100, if that, and if you had just asked us, either we could have gotten it for you or something,” Anthea Howe-Denize, Sherrian’s sister, said. “The fact that it was that simple to get a charger or get the phone screen fixed … I just don’t believe this is getting the attention that it needs.”

It is unclear at what point the laptop’s battery died during police’s investigation.

Nyesha Howe, Sherrian’s sister-in-law, said that police initially had trouble getting into the locked laptop because it was encrypted and required a password.

Police recovered some of Sherrian’s personal belongings, including her phone and her laptop, in a Windsor Locks hotel room shortly after she was reported missing on Dec. 21, the family said. Sherrian had been renting a hotel room at the Days Inn in Windsor Locks in the days prior to her disappearance, they said.

Nyesha said that police don’t believe Sherrian was involved in a struggle before she’s seen on hotel video surveillance walking away in the area.

Speaking on behalf of the family as a victim advocate during the news conference, Keren Prescott, founder of PowerUp Manchester, said she wrote to multiple local officials outlining specific requests, including getting a copy of all policies and protocols related to the handling of adult missing person cases.

The letter also requested that Connecticut State Police get involved with the case to assist with unlocking Sherrian’s cellphone and laptop, Prescott said.

Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, and Bloomfield Mayor Danielle Wong also attended Thursday’s event to show support for the family. Wong said that the Bloomfield Police Department has been in contact with MPD, and that Bloomfield police stood ready to assist with the investigation if requested.

Sherrian’s debit card was used to make multiple purchases in the Copaco Shopping Center in Bloomfield shortly before her disappearance, the family said.

“When Black women and girls go missing, they don’t get attention that they need,” Wong said. “As the only Black female mayor in the state of Connecticut, I understand that we have minimal representation when it comes to Black bodies, and it’s time to change that.”

Looming over Sherrian’s disappearance is a situation in Bridgeport where two police detectives were recently suspended for their handling of the deaths of two black women, Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls.

“Our agency is conducting an investigation as we would for any missing person,” Shea said last week.

Austin Mirmina covers Manchester and Bolton.

Source News