LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A bizarre mystery has shrouded a missing 41-year-old woman in Linden, New Jersey.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Tyrita Julius vanished just four months after being shot eight times in her car. Now, her mother is driven to tears – fearing the shooting may be related to her disappearance.
The Julius family has spent six agonizing days wondering where Tyrita Julius is. The mother of two teens met up with a female friend last Tuesday and hasn’t been heard from since.
“I knew something was wrong,” said her mother, Queen Julius. “I knew something was wrong when she didn’t come home, because she’s always home.”
Tyrita Julius has had a traumatic past few months.
Julius was inside a car in Middlesex Street at the end of November when police said a man wearing a mask walked up and fired several shots into the front seat – striking Julius eight times and grazing her 15-year-old daughter.
“As the daughter was walking into the passenger’s side of the car, she noticed a man approaching her,” Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki told CBS2’s Christine Sloan at the time. “Words were exchanged between them and the mother was concerned for the daughter and told her to get in the car.”
Police said the shooting was targeted, and now Julius’ mother fears it could be connected to her disappearance.
“If anybody knows anything, where she’s at; if anyone is holding her, just let her come home,” Queen Julius said. “She has a family and kids who want her home.”
Tyrita Julius’ friend tells her family she and Tyrita went to lunch this past Tuesday, and then she dropped Tyrita off at the Long Branch train station.
But Linden police told CBS2’s Schneider they have poured through the surveillance video from the station and there was no sign of Tyrita or her friend.
Police told the Julius family the last ping from Tyrita’s cell phone was near the train station. But her phone is now going straight to voicemail and all of her credit cards were left at home.
“She’s a lovely person, and it just blows my mind that this thing is even happening to her,” said Tyrita’s aunt, Rosalind Julius-Mickel.
Tyrita Julius was wearing a black St. Mary’s basketball T-shirt, with an orange image of a basketball, when she disappeared. Her family is now extra-concerned because she has already missed a week’s worth of physical therapy for the bullet wounds in her shoulder.