Posted on Wed, February 2, 2005

Shopping card offering hope for Shipp family

By Stephanie Howard
Blue Springs Examiner

Brandy Shipp hopes a grocery card will lead her to her mother. Last week, Shipp received a grocery card in the mail. The card belonged to her mother Summer Shipp, a Kansas City woman who has been missing since Dec. 8.

"It wasn't on her key ring," Brandy said. "It was clean and shiny and didn't look like it had been stepped on or driven over. It was probably in her pocket."

The card, a discount card for Hen House, was last used Nov. 29 and 30, and Brandy is asking for anyone who turned a Hen House card in over the last six or eight weeks to contact police. The store handed over security tapes of Summer using her card those dates.

"The main office was unable to determine where it was turned in," Brandy said.

Now, police have the card and a checking it for finger prints

Although her mother has been missing for nearly two months, Brandy still holds faith that Summer will come home safely.

Summer was last seen in a central Independence neighborhood doing door to door market research. Since that time a number of community members and companies have offered Brandy their support.

"It's great people in the community want to help," Brandy said. "It's amazing how many perfect strangers have stepped up to help."

Viacom, a billboard company, donated a billboard on Interstate 35, between 20th Street and Broadway. The billboard went up Monday. Lamar Outdoor Advertising also donated a billboard on Interstate 435 and Truman Road that has been up for some time.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authorities have also put Summer's picture on five of their buses, and 30 taxi cabs are driving through the metro with Summer's picture on their cab tops.

"I can't thank them enough," Summer said.

Summer's car was found in the area of 1500 block of College Terrace, the same area she had been doing research. She is 5 feet 1 inch tall and about 105 pounds with strawberry blonde hair. She was last seen wearing jeans and a pink and gray sweater.

Anyone with information call Move-Up Secret Witness Program at (816) 753-1111 or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS. A $100,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information on her whereabouts.

To reach Stephanie Howard, send e-mail to stephanie.howard or call her at (816) 229-9161, Ext. 25.