NEW CASTLE —
A woman whose daughter disappeared in January harbors a dread that life in the streets could have led to her demise.
Linda Whitesell said she last saw her daughter, Jessi Machell Brumley-Short, when she stayed with her for two nights at her Shenango Township home in January, then left again.
The 25-year-old brunette with brown eyes and short hair suffers from severe addiction to crack cocaine and heroin, and as a result has been known to engage in prostitution on the city’s South Side to support her habit, her mother said.
She also is prone to seizures from injuries she sustained from a past injury to the back of her neck and skull.
She doesn’t drive, and unless she gets rides from friends or strangers, she walks everywhere. Her mother believes she frequents the South Side and the project areas in town and has been known to stay at a motel that border’s Pulaski Township and Coitsville, Ohio.
Short and her mom moved to the Lawrence/Butler county area from Ohio when Short was a bubbly 19-year-old.
She became addicted to opiates about five years ago when she took up with a boyfriend who introduced her to the life of drugs, Whitesell explained.
Short has tried to kick her habit and has been on and off drugs, unsuccessfully, for the past five or six years, her mother said.
“She has tried to stay well.”
It’s not unusual for Short to disappear, sometimes for two weeks at a time, but in the past she has never stopped contact with her mother or other family members, her mother said.
This time, she has.
No other family or friends have heard from her, and Whitesell is becoming increasingly alarmed.
“She always checks in and calls me. She asks for a ride or to stay at my house or she asks for money,” Whitesell said, emphasizing that they have a good relationship and Short has confided many private matters to her.
“She can’t go without calling me.”