SAN FRANCISCO – Friends have launched a viral campaign on social media using the hashtag #FindIsa in hopes of locating a missing 20-year-old Black transgender woman.
They say Isa Dessalines was talking on the phone with friends at Fisherman’s Wharf when the call disconnected. She later called to say she jumped out of the car of a strange man who took her and has not been heard from since.
Dessalines, who had been living in the East Bay and also at various hotels in the San Francisco Tenderloin District, was last heard from late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to Liza, a friend who asked not to be identified by her last name .
San Francisco police confirmed that officers were sent out Tuesday just before 2 a.m. to the 200 block of Beach Street to investigate a reported kidnapping, but did not find any evidence or witnesses. The Special Victims Unit is now leading the search. SFPD sent out a plea to the public Wednesday night asking for anyone with information to contact them. But police provided no further information and were not able to confirm any of the details provided to KTVU by friends.
According to those friends, Dessalines was talking on the phone in San Francisco late Monday night when her friends on the line overheard her struggling with a man who also told her to shut up. They also heard a car door shutting, some choking sounds and then all communication with Dessalines went dark.
Worried, her friends frantically scoured her Find My Friend app, hoping to see where Dessalines went.
At about 4:30 pm on Tuesday, her phone turned on suddenly.
Liza said they tracked Dessalines’ phone in a moving car along Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland.
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Just then, Dessalines called a friend to tell her that she had jumped out of the car, had hit her head and was confused.
Liza said the friend implored Dessalines to call 911. They’re not sure if she did. Her phone has since gone dark.
Friends then filed a missing person report with San Francisco police, as Dessalines had said she had been stalked by a man in the Tenderloin while she was staying at a hotel there. They’re not sure who the man is, but Liza said that Dessalines’ door had been egged there, and someone in a car had been following her.
In addition, Liza said they spoke with an Oakland police officer for two hours on Tuesday, filling him in on her friend’s life and habits.
Liza said a police officer told them that investigators recovered Dessalines ‘phone, covered in blood, outside a Planned Parenthood in East Oakland on Tuesday about 6:30 pm But Oakland police tweeted Wednesday saying that they had not recovered any evidence connected to Dessalines’ disappearance .
For now, friends are sick with worry.
Dessalines, who has had a challenging life with health issues and a past full of domestic abuse, had come to the East Bay for a safer life, according to her friend. She was a writer, Liza said, and a good friend.
Anyone with information is asked to call SFPD at 415-553-0123 or Oakland police at 510-238-3455.