Watch CBS News

Evanston activist Elise Malary's car found, but she remains missing and her family remains distraught

Car found, but Evanston activist Elise Malary remains missing 02:33

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- The car belonging to a missing Evanston activist has been found in a municipal parking lot.

Police late Tuesday were checking nearby cameras to see who drove the Elise Malary's car to the parking lot. Her family received word that her 2008 Honda Accord was left there.

But it is going on seven days, and no one has seen or heard from Malary herself.

Her family is trying to stay optimistic, but with each day, they worry more.

Elise Malary has been missing since Wednesday, March 9, and uncertainty hangs around her disappearance. Her younger sister, Fabiana Malary, suspects something is wrong.

"She's never done anything like this before," said Fabiana Malary. "So that's why it's been just so alarming for us."

Elise Malary lives alone in an apartment building near Hinman Avenue and Keeney Street in the southeastern part of Evanston. After not responding to calls or texts, her sister had management go into her apartment.

"The front door was unlocked, and the back door was unlocked - and that is very, very unusual with my sister," said Fabiana Malary. "She's always on top of her safety. She never plays about that."

Elise Malary is an activist in the LGBTQ community, and it leaves her sister to wonder if that plays any part in her disappearance.

"I know that some people might not necessarily like Elise for who she is and how she lives her life, and that is definitely a possibility there could be people out there that have something against her," said Fabiana Malary.

Right now, Evanston police are only classifying the case as a missing persons case. But with each day, her family can't help to wonder if there's more.

"I'm afraid of, you know, something happened to her," said Fabiana Malary. "I'm afraid what could have possibly happened."

And if Elise Malary just needed time to regroup, her sister is asking that she reach out – something she hasn't done in almost a week.

"Our family is in utter disarray with the fact she's missing, and we cannot think about what life would be like if she wasn't here anymore," Fabiana Malary said.

Despite Elise Malary's apartment being left unlocked, there were no signs of anything missing. The parking lot where her car was found is about two blocks from where she lives.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) posted on Facebook, calling Elise a "40th Ward neighbor" and "a good friend." He said, "We all want to see her back and safe at home."

Vasquez said on Saturday, a group will meet at 5228 N. Clark Avenue to pass out flyers. 

I’m often on work mode, going from issue to issue, and yesterday I had a moment at city council where thanks to Ald. Ray...

Posted by Andre Vasquez on Thursday, March 17, 2022

Anyone with information is asked to contact Evanston police. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.