WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Ebonee Spears disappeared Friday, Jan. 15 and was last seen on surveillance video, trying to make a phone call inside the lobby at police headquarters. Now, WECT has learned Ebonee was also there the night before.
"She looked worn out, looked like she was about ready to drop any second," said Harriet Rivers, Ebonee's mother.
Rivers says the 30-year-old Spears, who was taking an anti-depressant, was not herself the night before she disappeared, so she took Ebonee down the street to police headquarters to get help. She says EMS was called and an evaluation said Ebonee was fine to go home.
"They said she was okay, and wasn't a threat to herself or anybody else," Rivers said.
Police, however, said officers and EMS advised Ebonee's parents to have Ebonee involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.
Though Ebonee left that night, it wasn't long before she was back inside police headquarters. This time, investigators say she asked to make a phone call, but when the phone didn't work, Ebonee acted frustrated and walked out.
"She just kept walking back and forth," Rivers says, who watched the surveillance video. "Walking back and forth."
Police have not released the video out of what they say is compassion for Ebonee's family. Rivers, however, says she wants the footage out. She says it shows what Ebonee was last seen wearing and how she was acting. She says Ebonee was wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and a purple hoodie sweatshirt with the word "staff" on the back.
"If they are trying to be compassionate to me they would release whatever so the public can see and help find Ebonee," she says. "They're not being compassionate to me, I don't feel like. If nothing to hide, nothing to cover up, release it."
Wilmington police say Ebonee was last seen around 10 p.m. Jan. 15, by a man outside her apartment on Nixon Street.
There are also surveillance cameras outside the New York Mini Mart at 602 Nixon Street, which sits between Ebonee's home and the police station, where she may have walked by. A clerk who says he works there every day said that police never asked to view the video.
"They dropped the ball," Rivers said. "They really dropped the ball at the beginning."
WECT asked police a number of questions through email, including if they asked to see that mini mart surveillance video.
"The mother is making allegations we did not do our job," said the detective. "I have no further comment for the media on these questions."
A Wilmington Police Department spokeswoman said she hopes to release still images of Ebonee inside the police station soon.