22-year-old Daphne Jones worked at Brennan’s Restaurant while attending classes at the University of New Orleans. It was 1999, and Daphne discovered she was pregnant, according to News One. She decided to quit school and move back home with her mother to Maryland.
When Daphne was two months pregnant, she told her boyfriend her plans and let him know she was moving out of their place. She had confided in her family that her boyfriend was pressuring her to have an abortion, something Daphne refused to do.
“She refused to have an abortion. She told her mother….and her mother told Daphne to come home so that she could take care of her,” Daphne's aunt Helena Smith told News One.
She purchased her plane ticket to Maryland for January 9, 1999. On January 2, 1999, Daphne’s grandmother dropped Daphne off at her apartment. Helena, Daphne’s aunt, told NewsOne she had an “eerie feeling” in the car with Daphne. Helena told NewsOne, “Something told her not to leave but she pulled off.”
Daphne has never been seen again.
On January 3, 1999, Daphne failed to show up for work. Her cousin said she spoke to Daphne that day and Daphne was upset about something. Her cousin is unsure what was bothering Daphne. When no one could reach Daphne, her landlord allowed her family access to her apartment.
“When I went in, she had warmed up some food, the television was on, the iron was on, and it seemed like she left in a hurry,” Helena told News One.
Unfortunately, Daphne’s mother died of pancreatic cancer in 2018. Her grandmother died in 2012, and her father passed, as well. They fought for her return until the end.
Daphne’s classmates even launched a scholarship in her name, The Daphne Philisia Jones Memorial Scholarship.
“At this point, we just want to know what happened. I don’t think there is anything that can be done, but we just really want to know what happened to her that day,” Daphne's sister Danielle Jones-Rease said in an interview with NewsOne. “All we know is that she vanished and there is nothing to hold to now,” she said. “We just want a final answer so we can put it to rest.”
Daphne Jones was 5’4” and weighed 130 pounds when she vanished. Please contact the New Orleans 7th District Police Department at 504-244-4600 with any information.