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1989 cold case of murdered mom, missing baby spurs sister to ignore danger

BROOKLYN — Simone Rivera said she was walking with her 10-year-old son and 7-year-old nephew Monday night on Broadway in Bushwick, Brooklyn, when she noticed a very tall man walking straight towards her.

She said he was pulling a grey hoodie over his head and tightening the strings.

"Then he grabbed my arm hard," Rivera said, "and gripped it really tightly."

Rivera said the man stared at her intently.

She told PIX11 she hit him with her cell phone and managed to get away, with the children running ahead of her.

She wondered if the man was trying to send her a message.

For the last four months, Rivera has been pushing hard to get her sister's murder case re-opened by the NYPD, and she's succeeded.

On March 30, 1989 — more than 28 years ago — the body of 22-year-old Monique Rivera, a mother of three sons, was found by a jogger on City Island in the Bronx.

This was 20 miles away from where Monique had left her home in Bushwick, Brooklyn the day before, carrying her six week old baby, Andre.

Andre vanished for good.

Monique Rivera was last seen getting into a burgundy Pontiac on Madison Street, which reportedly had Maryland license plates. Two women were in the car, and Monique's family believed one of them had once attended middle school with the young mom, who had three sons, including Andre Bryant, her youngest.

"I can't let this go, until my sister rests," Simone Rivera told PIX11.

Regarding the incident on Monday night: "I don't know if someone is trying to scare me, for opening my sister's case," Rivera said. "I don't feel it's nothing to do with a robbery, because I had my phone. If he wanted to rob me, he could have just reached over."

"Whatever it is, I'm not gonna stop," Rivera said.