Developing: Police officer, suspect shot in Detroit

Rochester College grad missing after leaving NY airport

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A Rochester College graduate has been missing nearly a week and her family has become increasingly concerned about her disappearance.

Sierra Shields, a flight attendant, was last seen leaving her job at about noon Thursday at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

According to her family and New York City police, Shields, 30, flies for Republic Airways, which staffs flight attendants for Delta and United airlines. She was based in New York City.

Shields attended Rochester College in Rochester Hills from 2005-09, studying for the ministry, business and integrative studies. Her brother, Chris, is a campus minister at the school.

“We really don’t know” what happened, said Chris Shields of Shelby Township. “We are a family that is close and we talk as often as we can. (Sierra) spoke to my oldest sister Thursday and she seemed different. She wasn’t herself.”

Chris Shields said his older sister flew to New York immediately because she was concerned about her younger sister, but Sierra Shields was gone.

Chris Shields said he hopes the airport security video yields clues about what happened. But in the meantime the family is hoping people will respond to a couple of Facebook pages, Find Sierra Shields and Find Sierra, relatives and friends have posted.

Shields’ father, Chris, who lives in Illinois where the young woman grew up, said he hopes police find something in their investigation that will lead to the safe discovery of his daughter. The young woman grew up in Richton Park, Illinois.

“The tips are coming in (and) we’re still pushing forward,” he said. “Police are still getting all of the (airport) surveillance tapes.”

A tip line has been set up for calls or texts: (313) 347-3329.

According to a press release from the New York Police Department, Sierra Shields is 5-foot, 7-inches tall, 160 pounds, with a medium build, medium complexion, black hair and brown eyes. They say she was last seen wearing a navy blue dress.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at or texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Chris Shields describes his sister as bubbly and full of laughter, saying “she is the best of us.”

“If she is not found by 7 p.m. Friday we’re asking whether you’re in a coffee shop, school or (place of worship) please pause for Sierra,” he said.

The public response so far has been overwhelming, he said.

“We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support by people from all walks of life.”

(313) 222-2027