NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a missing Queens woman is desperately searching for answers after a chilling text message left them with more questions than answers.
Authorities said 26-year-old Rajwinder Kaur was last seen on Sunday at around 8 p.m. inside her home on 198th Street in Hollis. That is when she left to volunteer at a Brooklyn shelter, according her family.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones With More On The Story
The missing woman’s sister, Lucky Kaur, told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that their youngest sister received a text message from Rajwinder’s phone, saying “The owner of this phone is dead, but she was smiling.”
“I was reading it and it didn’t make sense and I worried, what’s going on?” sister Gurpreet Kaur told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
“We are very nervous, we are scared. I know Raji. She will never send a message like that,” added brother-in-law Kulwinder Bhinder.
“There’s nothing else we can do, just wait to get an answer from someone,” Lucky Kaur said.
The woman’s family said they have no idea what happened to her. Lucky Kaur said they have not received any information, despite their efforts. They have even tried to get the word out on Twitter and Facebook, but to no avail.
“Nobody has called. We’ve even reached out to our community, the Punjabi community, we put like news in the…Indian [TV] channels and all that and we haven’t heard anything from anybody yet,” she said. “We’re really very, very worried.”
Rajwinder Kaur is a former social worker who recently became very involved with volunteering at shelters. And that’s where her family was Tuesday night, in Brooklyn, putting up “missing” posters at dozens of shelters in case anyone saw her. The problem is, no one knows which shelter she was going to Sunday night, so they visited dozens of them.
“There may be some bad, cracked person she faced that night, and that’s the scary part,” Bhinder told CBS 2’s Hennessey.
Rajwinder Kaur is described as 5-foot-3 and 130 pounds with a thin build and medium complexion.
Sources within the NYPD told Hennessey she sold some belongings on eBay, joined a cult and that the text sent to the family means “the old Rajwinder is dead to you; the new Rajwinder is with us,” the cult.
But her family wasn’t buying that theory.
“She’s religious; she’s not an extremist,” cousin mini Sharma said.
“It doesn’t make sense. She wouldn’t want to leave us,” Gurpreet Kaur said.
Investigators said there’s no evidence of foul play, but Rajwinder Kaur’s family said there’s also no evidence of her doing anything — using a credit card, ATM, or cell phone. Still, they said they believe she’s alive.
“Yes, I have to believe that,” Gurpreet Kaur said. “We do.”
Anyone with information in regards to this missing is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.