Erika Renee Johnson Kelly has been found safe, a spokesperson for the DeKalb County Police Department told ESSENCE on Thursday. The 37-year-old Atlanta woman went missing on Superbowl Sunday. According to officials, Kelly was located in Canton, Georgia.
Earlier this month, Kelly’s family went public with the disappearance of their loved one, saying that the wife and mom who suffered from depression, was last seen by a friend in East Atlanta, but failed to come home following the visit. Kelly’s husband, Rashard Kelly, filed a police report on Monday, Feb. 3. A subsequent press release was sent out to help garner any information on the whereabouts of the missing woman.
When ESSENCE spoke to Kelly’s mother, Constancia Arriba, she mentioned that she was particularly concerned about her daughter because Kelly suffered from mental illness. The concerned mother said that she contacted shelters, hospitals, and mental health facilities in hopes of receiving any intel on where her daughter may be. She also sought help from The Center for Truth and Healing, a nonprofit organization in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the DeKalb County police.
In a statement to ESSENCE, the DeKalb County Police Department said at the time, that they “take all missing person cases seriously” and would continue to search for Kelly until “all leads are exhausted.”
During our initial interview with Kelly’s mother, she claimed that at least three people believed that they saw her somewhere in the Atlanta area. “So I’m really hoping, we’re just hoping for the best, that she’s still alive,” Arriba said.
Mr. Kelly reached out to ESSENCE earlier this week to explain that he and the 7-year-old daughter that he and Ms. Kelly share are deeply concerned about the mom and wife’s wellbeing. He shared that he was spending much of his time caring for their child and searching for his missing wife.
The search for Erika Renee Johnson Kelly ended this week. No details have been provided on where Ms. Kelly was during her disappearance or what information led to her being found. ESSENCE will update this story if more details emerge.