Kansas City Star

Hearne Christopher Jr.


Brandy’s keeping an eye on Shipp news


Brandy Shipp (left), with her mother in happier times, is still looking for clues about her mother’s disappearance. “I need to spend more time on the search,” Brandy says.

Natalee Holloway may be the poster child for missing persons, internationally speaking.

But months before Natalee’s disappearance last year in Aruba, Summer Shipp dropped off the face of the local map while conducting a door-to-door survey in Independence.

Enter 30-something, force-to-be-reckoned-with daughter Brandy Shipp. Office worker, bartender, small-time candy vendor, Brandy is still searching for any evidence, no matter how small, that might lead to what happened to her missing mom 16 months ago.

“I need to spend more time on the search,” Brandy says.

Is Shipp satisfied with the job authorities are doing on the case?

“That’s a touchy one,” Shipp says. “I think they’re doing the best that they can with what manpower they have available, but I think they’re very understaffed. And I think the detectives have their theories, but they don’t have the physical evidence to pursue those theories and make an arrest.”

Here’s the weird part: Shipp thinks she knows who dunnit.

“Yes,” she says. “And I think (police) know who is responsible, but they do not have the physical evidence to make an arrest. I think it’s just a matter of time until someone comes forward with that evidence. That’s why I’m trying to keep the information out there.”

Along with a $100,000 reward.

“Depending on the information given and what impact it has on the case,” Shipp says.

Has Brandy turned the page on seeing her mom alive?

“I don’t like to really say that because there’s always a chance,” she says. “But I know what the odds are, and the odds are strongly against that. But I still want to know what happened to her.”

It has been a long, strange trip, Shipp says.

“I’ve had so many psychics contact me,” she says. “And they all had different theories — they were all kind of weird. A lot of tips to the police that came in were pretty strange. Like (my mom) was singing karaoke in a bar somewhere in Port Canaveral, Fla. She was seen at a gas station in West Virginia and was a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.”

Brandy’s endgame on the search: “I don’t know,” she says. “This is probably (what I’ll be doing) the rest of my life, definitely.”

Contact Brandy about the case at www.friendsofsummer.com .