July 31, 2019
It’s been two years since Maryland native and mother Akia Eggleston vanished in Baltimore just days before her baby shower.
Akia’s father, Shawn Wilkinson, and the co-founders of the Black and Missing Foundation, Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson, joined “The View” on Wednesday to shine a spotlight on her disappearance. The foundation advocates for missing people of color, like Wilkinson, whose family members have gone missing.
Wilkinson told “The View” that since beginning the search for his missing daughter two years ago, the family is “doing the best we can [but], as a whole, is broken [and] in shambles trying to live day to day.” He said they still have hope that someone will come forward with information on her disappearance.
Eggleston, then 22 years old, was eight months pregnant with her second child when she disappeared on May 3, 2017. When Eggleston didn’t attend her own baby shower on May 7, her grandmother knew something was wrong and called Wilkinson. He told “The View” that he was unaware that his daughter was missing during those four days.
Concerned by Eggleston’s absence, Wilkinson alerted the Baltimore police and reported her missing.
Eggleston was last seen taking money out of a bank, according to authorities. Wilkinson claims that despite past reports, his daughter only went to one bank, and allegations that she went to multiple banks were “a miscommunication upon the Baltimore police department.”
“They have not yet renounced that statement, but that is the actual truth about that,” Wilkinson claimed on “The View.”
During the time that Eggleston was reported missing, Baltimore police said that they searched her apartment, which she shared with a roommate. Although authorities haven’t told Wilkinson about their interview with the roommate, he said that they found some of her belongings missing from her home but have not disclosed exactly what they are.
Wilkinson claimed, however, that his daughter was on bedrest due to a high-risk pregnancy, and therefore she wouldn’t be able to move any heavy items by herself.
“The View” co-host Meghan McCain pointed out that the unborn child’s father is not considered a person of interest. Wilkinson added that he has not been able to communicate with him, however, and claimed that he was advised by police not to interact with him.
The Baltimore police department released the following statement to “The View” on Eggleston’s case:
“Our homicide detectives have devoted literally thousands of man-hours to this case. About a dozen detectives have been involved at some point in the investigation, in addition to about a half-dozen FBI agents. We have also received assistance from the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. To date, among other things, a dozen search warrants and/or subpoenas have been executed; approximately 100 interviews have been conducted; and dogs and divers have been used in numerous searches.
“As far as keeping in touch with Akia’s family, the Lieutenant in charge of our cold case squad has personally met with Akia’s father four times and spoken with him on the phone another six or so times. Akia’s father has also met with the Major in charge of our homicide unit, as well as the prosecutor assigned to the case. We have given him as much as information as we can without jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation.
“Outside of Akia’s friends and family members, nobody wants this case to be solved more than the members of the Baltimore Police Department, and we will keep working until the job is done.”
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin read Shawn Wilkinson a portion of the police department’s statement, to which he responded that the police have a “challenging job, first and foremost,” but their “level of communication is not to the expectations of any family.”
“Yes, we have spoken, and yes, we have met,” he said of contacting the police department. “But when the time that you speak with the individual in such a matter as this is…maybe once, every three, four, five months, you call them to speak to them and you have no response. And you have to go to the level of contacting your congressman, who contacts the mayor, who contacts the assistant [district attorney], who contacts the chief of police, who then contacts the head of the FBI from the Baltimore division — it’s a crazy process.”
Nevertheless, Wilkinson said “we’re gonna keep going. We’re not gonna stop badgering them until they give us what we want.”
If you have any information concerning this case, please go to BlackAndMissingInc.com.
Photo credit: Nicolette Cain/ABC