Whether taken or hiding, Najiy Brower is gone

Brower: Last seen Aug. 31.
Brower: Last seen Aug. 31.
Posted: October 25, 2012

SINCE CHERYL Stevens' only son disappeared without a trace at the end of the summer, her life has become an exercise in faith.

"I've been trusting in God and standing on God's word," said Stevens, 57, who lives in West Philadelphia. "I still come into work because I'm not gonna sit around getting depressed. . . . You can't just do that."

It was on Aug. 31 that Stevens' son, Najiy Brower, 29, went missing while he was staying with relatives in Spotsylvania, Va. Brower, Stevens said, left her home in Wynnefield Heights about two months earlier to stay with a cousin there and "get away from all the craziness."

Stevens said Brower's pregnant girlfriend is due to give birth to their baby in January. His girlfriend, who lives in Philadelphia, was the last person known to have heard from Brower, who authorities said disappeared after being dropped off to meet an unknown person for work at a tavern in Spotsylvania.

Investigators in Virginia say that they have no leads in Brower's case, but in the 410-square-mile county with a population of 122,000 it stands out as an oddity.

Capt. Mike Harvey, who heads criminal investigations for the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office, said that the area has a missing-person case like Brower's only once every two to three years.

"Some circumstances surrounding his disappearance are suspicious, so it is a priority case for us," Harvey said. "Right now, we have really not a whole lot to go on."

Brower's mother said that she's unsure whether her son, who served jail time in 2008 on drug charges, is in hiding from someone from his past who may be after him, but that she wishes he'd contact her to alleviate her fears if that's the case.

"I hope that's what it is," Stevens said. "[If he told me], we could keep it quiet.

"I'm worried about something, but maybe everything is OK," she added. "I'm just trusting God that he's got this."


Contact Morgan Zalot at zalotm@phillynews.com or 215-854-5928. Follow her on Twitter @morganzalot. Read her blog at PhillyConfidential.com.

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