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Barberton mother missing for a month, family fears she's in danger

Police asking for help to find Ma'Ri'Ana Spaulding and her car
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Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 18:32:33-05

BARBERTON, Ohio — Each day that passes adds to the agony for the family of Ma'Ri'Ana Spaulding. The 25-year-old Barberton mother has been missing for about a month.

Her loved ones have no idea where she is, but believe she is in danger. Barberton police have no leads on her whereabouts and detectives are asking the public for any information leading to the woman or her car, which is also missing.

Spaulding's mother, Lavina Black, said the family is putting up a $5,000 reward for information leading to her daughter.

During an emotional interview with News 5, Black joined other family members outside of Spaulding's home on Magnolia Drive and made a plea for her safe return.

"Ma'Ri'Ana, we're gonna find you, Ma'Ri'Ana. We're gonna find you. We're gonna bring you home, Ma'Ri'Ana. I'm not gonna stop. I'm not gonna stop, Ma'Ri'Ana until you're safe, until you're home," Black said.

Family members believe Spaulding hasn't been to her home since December. On January 7, relatives walked through an unlocked door, noticed water damage and found the home to be in disarray.

"I think that she fell in the wrong hand to the wrong people," Black said, "I know something is not right. I know it. I feel it in my soul. I feel it in my gut. I know something is terribly wrong."

Spaulding's father, Ahmad Spaulding, said he last spoke to his daughter via FaceTime on De 17 when she asked for some extra money to help with Christmas shopping.

That same day the Akron police Flock camera system captured a photo of her champagne-colored 2007 Chevy Impala at Arlington Street and Lovers Lane. It has a temporary tag of P836081.

There has been no sign of Ma'Ri'Ana or her car since that time.

"We're gonna get to the bottom of this. We're gonna get to the bottom of this. God's grace is gonna be upon us and we're gonna get answers," Ahmad Spaulding said.

The parents stressed it's out of character for their daughter to be away from family for a long time.

No one heard from her on important dates, including Christmas, her birthday (Dec. 30), her son's birthday (Dec. 31) or New Years Day.

Her son, who turned four, had a heart transplant last year.

"She never misses anything with her son, ever," Black said. "She just would never do this.

Barberton police are also baffled. They haven't been able to find any trace of the woman, who up until her disappearance, was very active on social media. Her phone goes straight to voicemail.

"Here you have a woman, seems like a smart woman, who was active on social media. She had a life, and all of a sudden, it's like she vanished, so that's what makes it suspicious," said Barberton Officer Marty Eberhart.

The missing woman's family said it appears that all of Ma'Ri'Ana's social media accounts have also vanished, adding to the alarm.

"She TikToks all day long. All her social media is gone, just wiped off," Black said.

Detectives have subpoenaed records for several things, including the Ma'Ri'Ana's cell phone, her social media history and Cash App, which she uses to receive money. Police hope creating a digital fingerprint will lead to her.

"I can guarantee you they're not overlooking anything," Eberhart said.

The family said Ma'Ri'Ana has been dealing with some mental health concerns, but nothing in their minds that would make her disappear willingly.

"She wasn't depressed to where she would run off or hurt herself. I didn't get nothing like that. She was just trying to work and put herself in a better position to be a better mom," Ahmad Spaulding said.

Ma'Ri'Ana is black, 5-feet 6-inches tall, 250 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a thigh tattoo with the word "beautiful" and a nose piercing.

Black is urging any with information to contact the Barberton Detective Bureau at 330-861-7250.

In the meantime, she's hoping her daughter hears her message.

"I'm gonna bring you home, baby. I'm gonna bring you home. I love you. I miss you. Your son loves you. He asks about you every single day," she said.

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