For Shipp, it's two years of waiting, wondering

Hearne Christopher, Jr.
Kansas City Star
December 4, 2006

It feels like winter, but Brandy Shipp is all about Summer.

That's because Friday her mother, Summer Shipp, will have been missing "without a trace" for two years. She disappeared while conducting a door-to-door survey in Independence on Dec. 8, 2004. Daughter Brandy has been searching for her ever since.

"It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but, yep two years," Brandy says.

As for the holiday blues, "To me honestly, the holidays aren't that different," she says, "because I've got emotional pain inside me always."

Shipp is vigilant about finding her mother and helping other families of missing persons. To that end, her organization, Friends of Summer, will help host free self-defense classes for women Saturday and Sunday at the Screenland Theatre downtown.

"We'll have six or eight instructors teaching different techniques," Shipp says. "I think it's possible for everybody to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I think my mother was a victim of opportunity. So yes, I think (the self-defense classes) might have helped her. Of course, we don't know the details of what happened."

Shipp is contemplating a move to Holland but plans to keep working on missing persons activities.

"It's amazing the number of bodies that are found three or four years after the fact," she says. "Either a tip comes in, or it might be a new construction site. I think it's just a matter of time in my mother's case, and I think justice will prevail. The police will get their man."