Sanaa Amenhotep, the daughter of Sharif Malik Amenhotep, a member of Newark’s Brick City Peace Collective, was discovered in Lexington County after a nearly three-week search, officials said.
Amenhotep announced his daughter’s death in a Facebook post.
“My first heir Sanaa Mahari Amenhotep I can’t believe she gone from us you shattered the hearts of my entire family the pain I will never be the same,” he wrote.
The body of Sanaa Amenhotep, 15, was found Thursday after a nearly three-week search following her disappearance earlier this month. (Richland County Sheriff’s Department )
“Hari I’m sorry Princess I didn’t protect u I promise u will never ever leave my heart or mind I cherish all 15 years of your life u spent with me I would lay down my life for u My Mom and Grandma got you I got Sade and the rest of your sisters and brothers I love u so much,” he wrote in a subsequent post.
A 17-year-old male has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and authorities are looking for Treveon Jamar Nelson, who is expected to be charged with the same.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Amenhotep had been missing since April 5 after leaving her home in Columbia, S.C. She left with two males “probably voluntarily” before it turned into a kidnapping, he said.
“I told the parents we would bring her home, and we have done that,” Lott told reporters. “Unfortunately, we didn’t bring her home the way that we all prayed and wished that we could.”
The sheriff urged Nelson to turn himself in, saying “he can’t run and hide.”
“We need him,” he said. “He needs to be arrested, and arrested very quickly.”
Lott said there was “gang-related” activity connected to the case but declined to elaborate.
In a statement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka expressed his condolences.
“On behalf of the people of Newark, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Sharif Malik Amenhotep, on the tragic loss of his beautiful and intelligent black daughter, Sanaa Amenhotep, who was kidnapped and murdered in South Carolina,” he said. “No parent should ever have to bury their child. It is an inexplicable loss that defies imagination.”