After 28-year-old woman vanishes, friends use social media to try to find her

Good news on Facebook: Malika James was back home safe Wednesday


MIAMI – When Malika James went missing Sunday, her friends took to social media.

Dozens used Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share information about where she was last seen. They drove around Miami trying to find her car. And they were also asking social media users to share missing flyers.

"Many of her friends have been calling me," her father, Leonard James, said Monday night. "They are doing what they can."

Pembroke Pines police Capt. Carlos Bermudez released a report about 2 p.m. Tuesday saying that the 28-year-old was seen at 7:41 a.m., in Winter Haven, Fla.

"She was alone. The camera is looking into her car," James' friend Viviana Montesino said. "No one was in the back seat."

When police announced the Winter Haven news, some of her friends were still out distributing flyers in Miami and had asked Local 10 News and ABC News to distribute her photo and car description. On Wednesday, there was more good news. She was back home in Pembroke Pines with her dad.

"The way you all mobilized so quickly is so beautiful ... she is blessed with amazing friends," Jenny Molina said on a post in a Facebook group.

James has an active social life in Miami. She was known to frequent nightclubs in Wynwood and Miami Beach. Her smile glows regularly on websites that feature photos of parties and concerts such as photographer Seth Browarnik's World Red Eye.

Veronica Gessa, a popular promoter and her former roommate, and nightlife photographer Jipsy Castillo, also known as Nefarious Girl, used hash tag "Find Malika." They were among dozens of friends sharing pictures of her on social media.

It was a busy weekend for socialites. Art Basel Miami Beach attracts about 75,000 people to the trendy neighborhoods that James frequents. There were dozens of events. She was working at a few Saturday and Sunday that she didn't show up for.

Her father contacted Basel Castles Art &  Music festival organizers, who were expecting her to work at the event Saturday afternoon. Friends said she never made it to the event held at the Overthrow Castle, 41 NW  20 St., near Miami's Overtown. She also didn't make it to Overthrow's Art Basel after-party Sunday night.

Her father reported her missing to Pembroke Pines Police Department Monday. Bermudez said Tuesday the police department was going to continue following leads regarding her whereabouts. There was no need. She was back home Wednesday.

There were dozens expressing joy on Facebook Wednesday night.

"I'm so happy right now," Joshua Fernandez said.

"Thanks for this wonderful news," DJ Alain Maximilien said.

And then there was the admiration from strangers who are used to hearing missing women stories with tragic endings. Nicole Alu doesn't know James, but said she was very happy.

Alu wished James and her family and friends nothing but happiness this Christmas.

"She is a beautiful strong woman, who clearly is so loved," she said on Facebook. It "warms my heart that she is safe and to see all the support.  Happy Holidays."