CANAL STREET, NEW ORLEANS – Chanda Smith, 38, of Mississippi went missing around 1 a.m. Sunday from her hotel while visiting the city with her mother and two children, police said, adding they had no leads as of Tuesday.
The brother of a woman reported missing Sunday (June 26) from her Canal Street hotel said he feels hopeful the investigation into her disappearance will help reunite his sister with her family.
“Right now we have some leads that we’re trying to follow up and confirm,” Johnathon Stevens said.
Chanda Smith, 38, of Union, Mississippi, was last seen leaving the Sheraton Hotel on Canal around 1 a.m. Sunday, said New Orleans police and her family. Stevens said his sister has two children, ages 7 and 9.
Stevens, 32, would not elaborate on the leads police have tracked down, saying he did not wish to interfere with the investigation. But said, “We’re saying positive and trying to get her home to her kids.”
Smith was in New Orleans over the weekend with her mother and other family members to attend the National Junior Beta Club Convention, said her mother, Sylvia Stevens. The event was hosted June 23-26 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, according to the organization’s website.
The NOPD, in a news release seeking help from the public in locating Smith, warned citizens not to approach Smith. The release specified a mental condition and said she was not believed to have been taking her medicine.
Johnathon Stevens said Wednesday his family does not think his sister is a danger to herself or others. “She’s never, never harmed anybody,” he said.
While Smith “suffers from mental illness,” Johnathon Stevens said, her specific diagnosis is unclear. He confirmed the family believes she has not been taking her daily medication to treat her mental illness.
NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble said information released to the public in missing persons cases is based on information given to detectives when the person is reported missing.
“She’s a loving mother, (who is) away from her children,” Johnathon Stevens said of his sister.
Smith is 5-foot-2, weighs approximately 110 pounds and has brown hair, police said. She was last seen wearing an emerald-green eyelet sundress and white cardigan sweater.
Anyone with information about Smith’s whereabouts is asked to call NOPD’s Eighth District at 504-658-6080 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.