BROOKLYN, NY — For 28 years, a Brooklyn mom has been haunted by the murder of her sister and the mysterious disappearance of her baby nephew.
Simone Rivera’s 22-year-old sister Monique Rivera was last seen alive on March 29, 1989, when she left her house on Madison Street in Bushwick to go shopping with two women. She was carrying her baby son, six-week-old Andre Bryant.
At around 2 P.M., the mother and son were spotted getting into a late-model burgundy Pontiac Grand Am, that was believed to have Maryland license plates, in front of 967 Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to police.
Two Black women were in the car, one of whom was said to be about 25 years old and had long, red hair. The other was described as 30 to 35 years old, and heavyset.
Monique and Andre failed to return home that night, and Monique’s frantic boyfriend, Timothy Bryant, reported them missing.
Monique had encountered the two women the day before, on March 28, when they struck up a conversation with the young mother and took her shopping.
The next day, they called Monique at her apartment and asked her to go shopping again — and to bring baby Andre along this time. Monique left her two older sons, seven-year-old Timothy and four-year-old Thomas, with her sister-in-law inside the family apartment.
On March 30, 1989, Monique’s body was found near City Island by a jogger. She had reportedly been strangled and hit over the head with some type of blunt object. There was no sign of Andre — and he was never seen again. Today, he would be 28 years old.
Over the years, rumors have surfaced that Monique and her baby could have been targeted by a baby-selling ring — especially after two toddlers were snatched in 1989 from the same Harlem park.
But Rivera thinks that this kidnapping was “personal,” and suggests that her sister could have been targeted by someone who knew her, and possibly wanted to take her baby.
Bryant said he is suspicious that the women, who Monique told him she “knew from school,” bought her an outfit at a store called Canadians. Police later confirmed that a pair of gold slacks and a black blouse had been purchased — and were found in a plastic bag from Canadians — but said it was unclear exactly where they had been bought.Bryant revealed that had been annoyed when Monique showed him her new outfit on March 28, because, he said “nobody gives you anything for nothing.”
Rivera told PIX11 that her murdered sister has come to her three times in her dreams, and she was so disturbed by them that she decided to contact the Mary Murphy Mystery Facebook page.
“I’ll tell you one thing; she fought for that baby,” she told PIX 11. “Her hands were very bruised, and her nails were broken off, because she was struggling with them.”
PIX11 has contacted the NYPD Cold Case Squad and asked if it would be possible to review the unsolved murder and kidnapping.
“This is a cold case, but every day this is a hot case to me. It will never be a cold case to me,” Rivera said. “Because I will never give up.”
If you are in search of a missing person, make sure to enter their information into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
Main photo: Andre Bryant as a baby (left) and an age-progressed photo of what he may look like in his 20s [National Center For Missing & Exploited Children]