Anna Badey hasn’t had a full night’s sleep since Dec. 13, 2006. That’s the day her then-27-year-old son, Tyrese Beatty, was last seen in the area of 42nd Street and Parkside Avenue.
Badey said a family acquaintance told her he saw three people pinning her son against a wall and choking him. Beatty hasn’t been heard from since.
“I’m a social worker,” Badey said last week. “I called shelters, mental hospitals, ran credit checks, checked his Social Security – nothing has been touched. It’s like he dropped off the face of the earth.”
Since the outset of Beatty’s disappearance, his family has been tormented by rumors surrounding its circumstances, many of them conflicting. “I happened to bump into the drug dealers around my way and asked them about Tyrese,” Badey said. “They told me someone shot him in the head and threw him in an old house.”
Case detective Valarie Miller-Robinson of the Special Victims Unit confirmed that cadaver dogs searched a vacant property in South Philadelphia several years ago. “We didn’t find anything, fortunately – and unfortunately,” she said.
“People have said different things over the years as far as what may have happened and what may not have happened, and we’ve gone as far as we can with any information we get.”
Badey has been told that her son was spotted in Kensington, walking around “all messed up.” That he was wandering the area of Margaret Street and Orthodox Avenue in Frankford. “People tell he was beaten upside the head so bad, he doesn’t even know who he is,” she said.
She’s also heard that he fell deep into the abyss of schizophrenia, a diagnosis he received prior to his disappearance.
Badey acknowledged mental illness could have contributed to her son’s disappearance, but feels that his whereabouts would still have surfaced by now. “It’s just too strange,” she said. “Tyrese knows too many people in the city. Somebody would have bumped into him. We just need closure because it’s harder with every day that goes by.”
A mother’s search
Badey has never given up the search for her son. “Every lunch break, I used to walk around downtown and go under the subway,” she said. “I used to give out a flyer with $5 to every homeless person I saw because I thought they might see him.”
She said she’s constantly studying faces on the street in the hopes one of them will be Tyrese. “I see people who look like him and I have to pull over,” she said. Each time she finds she’s mistaken, the disappointment is crushing.
Badey can’t believe Tyrese would voluntarily walk off. “He was going to make something of himself,” she said, recounting his summers studying at the Freedom Theatre and love of writing raps. “He was the oldest grandchild and he had everybody looking up to him.”
Beatty was in July of 2006 sworn into the U.S. Navy as an E-3 sailor, according to Badey. “He was supposed to have left in September of 2006,” she said. “But between July and September, something happened.”
Tormented by suspicion
Badey is convinced that one family acquaintance – allegedly the last person to see Tyrese – had something to do with his disappearance.
“I call him ‘the grim reaper,'” she said. “Everybody on my block came out and I said, ‘Want to know what happened to Tyrese? There goes the grim reaper right there.'”
Badey said the man has been harassing her family since her son went missing, vandalizing their property, spreading damaging rumors and threatening their lives.
Miller-Robinson said she vaguely remembers receiving a call informing her of a rumored hit on Badey’s family and is aware of the person Badey feels is responsible. “If I was a parent, I may have the same concerns,” she said. “As a detective, I have to remain impartial until there’s evidence to support her statement or anyone else’s statement regarding the disappearance.”
But, according to Badey, the torment continues. “We can’t even grieve,” she said. “We can’t move forward or backward because he is always in our way, harassing us.”