LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Steven Edwards gave no indication that anything was wrong when he left his Lower East Side apartment on Sept. 2, according to Liv and Lisa Brock, his married roommates.
“He was actually supposed to start work with me on the day after Labor Day on [Sept. 5],” Liv Brock said, “and I got word he didn’t show up for the orientation.”
Brock said Steven Edwards, 32, had done well on his interview for a job at the Union Square Travel Agency, a new marijuana dispensary.
So when he didn’t come home, Brock and her wife, Lisa, tried to check his email, since Edwards left his laptop behind.
“Then we could see, like, Uber receipts and Cash App activity,” Liv Brock said. “We did try to text him, we did try to call him, but his phone was disconnected.”
The Brocks noticed Uber rides were going all over the Bronx, even though Steven Edwards used to always walk to save money. The Uber rider often returned to an address on Daly Avenue, which Lisa Brock Googled.
“When you look up the address on Daly Avenue, down here you see an Assamese restaurant, Help Me Help You,” Brock said.
When Brock clicked the link for the address, it revealed there’s no restaurant, just apartment buildings.
“There were menus,” the Brocks observed, “but it was more like they were selling people.”
When the roommates tried to report Steven Edwards missing Sept. 10 at Manhattan’s 9th Precinct, they said the police officer didn’t think Edwards was actually missing.
A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Edwards called himself a #bitchqueen on Instagram and liked to post videos that showed him dancing.
Steven’s father, Grover Edwards, raised his son in Jersey City, until Steven moved to the Lower East Side three years ago.
The father came to Manhattan on Sept. 18, after the Brocks had visited Daly Avenue in the Bronx and remained very concerned about Steven’s whereabouts.
The group called 911 and police from the 9th Precinct responded to the Brocks’ apartment.
“They basically keep saying that he’s 32 years old and he’s not a missing person,” Steven’s father said.
But police eventually took the report and assigned the case to a detective.
“My response is, he’s a human being, he’s my child,” Grover Edwards said.
The father said he appealed to the officers’ sense of family to convince them to file the report.
“This is my only child, my only son I have,” Grover Edwards said. “I cannot really focus; I cannot sleep at night. It’s hurting me every day. In my heart, in my mind, I feel he’s being held against his will.”
The roommates noticed expenditures were being made from Edwards’ Cash App account for cereal and cigarettes and, after a while, the money being exchanged was higher, sometimes $150 or $160.
The Brocks posted flyers about Edwards on social media platforms for missing persons. They even notified the Black and Missing Foundation near Washington, D.C. The organization reached out to PIX11 News for coverage.
This week, when PIX11 News announced it would report on Edwards’ story, Steven’s father traveled to Daly Avenue in the Bronx to plaster flyers near the address mentioned prominently in Uber receipts.
Grover Edwards called PIX11 News to say he had suddenly received a phone call from someone who sounded like his son.
The father said he wanted to see his son, before he would believe that he’s OK.
The roommates told PIX11 News they wanted a “legitimate sighting” of Steven Edwards before they would give up their efforts.