22-year-old Monique Rivera lived in the Bushwick neighborhood of Northern Brooklyn, New York with her three sons, 7-year-old Timmy, 4-year-old Thomas, and 6-week-old Andre.
March 28, 1989, Monique was walking her three children to school in Brooklyn when, suddenly, two women approached them. Monique realized she knew at least one of the women from middle school, and they began chatting, The Doe Network reports. Monique rode to a nearby McDonald's with the ladies and they had lunch.
During the conversation, the two friends took turns holding Andre and admiring him. They offered to take Monique shopping and the trio went to a store called Canadian's, where they purchased some pants and a top for Monique before taking her home.
The women agreed to link up the following day for another shopping trip for new clothes. Monique gave them her phone number, and the trio made plans to link up the following day.
The next day, March 29, 1989, Monique’s boyfriends' sister, Patricia, came by to babysit the boys while Monique went shopping with her friends from middle school.
While the babysitter was there, Monique got a phone call from her friends. They were calling from a payphone around the corner and asked Monique to come and meet them. The women insisted that Monique bring 6-week-old Andre, even though she told them she already had a babysitter for him.
Around 2:00 pm, Monique gathered up baby Andre and left with her son. That was the last time anyone saw Monique alive or Andre again.
When she failed to return with baby Andre, his father, Timothy Bryant, filed a missing persons report. He even took an ad out in the newspaper hoping to get any information on the whereabouts of Monique and his son.
A New York City Police detective saw the missing person ad, and thought about a body found on March 30, 1989, in the Bronx. He realized the description matched Monique and called Andre's father.
“They just told me that something had happened to my mother and she wouldn’t be coming home,” her son, Thomas Bryant told PIX 11.
They were able to determine the woman found was Monique. A jogger found her bludgeoned body near City Island in a wooded area in the Bronx. She had been strangled with a scarf and beaten in the head with a blunt object. She had extensive defensive wounds, including broken fingernails, showing she fiercely fought her attacker(s). Investigators conducted an extensive search, but they were unable to locate Andre.
“It’s not just a kidnapping case, it’s a murder case,” Simone Rivera, Monique's sister, told PIX11 in 2018. “I won’t rest until I find the truth.”
Andre's father believes his kidnapped son was sold into a baby-selling ring. He vanished the same year as Shane Walker and Christopher Dansby, two black male toddlers who vanished months apart from the same playground in Manhattan.
"I would like to know what he’s doing with himself," his brother Thomas told Pix 11. "I basically would like him to know he has an actual family. And, you know, I would like to see him . . . see what kind of man he developed into, see where his life took him."
The women Monique left with were described as African American. One appeared to be in her twenties and one in her thirties. The woman in her thirties had red hair. Both were of average height and weight. Investigators believe they were driving a 1988 or 1989 burgundy Pontiac Grand Am Sports Edition with tinted windows and possible Maryland license plates. Both women remain unidentified.
Monique’s murder remains unsolved, and Andre has never been seen again.
Andre Bryant was wearing a gray suit with two horizontal red lines, a beige knitted hat and sweater, and white socks when he vanished. If you have any information, please contact the New York Police Department at 718-574-1605.
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