HOMESTEAD (CBS4) – A man charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl in South Carolina is also a person of interest in the case of a missing Homestead woman, according to the Richland County S.C. authorities.
Relatives said Adriana Laster was last seen in September 2011 with 52-year-old Freddie Grant in South Carolina.
Laster’s 11-year-old daughter still lives in Homestead with her grandmother. The girl said she and mother would keep in contact through phone calls almost every other day, but those calls have stopped.
“She would draw stuff,” a woman who asked to be called “Phil” said. Phil is the grandmother of Laster’s daughter. “She was a very talented girl.”
Phil told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana that Laster was an artist and a musician, but her creative spirit was silenced a year ago.
“The FBI got in contact with me and told me they took over the case,” Phil said. “They told me they were not going to give up, that they were going to find her.”
Laster was last seen with 52-year-old Freddie Grant in South Carolina. Now, a year later, Grant has been named a person of interest in her disappearance.
“I just believe that he did something to her,” Phil said. She explained Laster and Grant had known each other for several years and relocated to South Carolina. “I just don’t think she’s here with us. I just don’t feel it.”
Grant is a suspect in another case.
“He’s a monster,” said Richland County, S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott said at a press conference last week regarding the disappearance of 15-year-old Gabbiee Swainson. Grant is charged with kidnapping in that case.
Sheriff Lott said Grant is not cooperating with authorities as volunteers and detectives continue searching for Swainson.
“We believe that she’s alive,” Sheriff Lott said. “Where and how, I don’t know.”
Laster’s loved ones aren’t quite as optimistic in her case. They say the young mother had been in trouble before, mostly for drug related offenses, but they’re hoping the community will put her past mistakes aside and help detectives close this case.
“Today, our hearts (are) very much grieved,” Phil said. “But tomorrow, it could be them. If I saw something that I knew could help somebody, I would help them.”
It’s believed that Grant and Laster spent time in Homestead before relocating to South Carolina.
Anyone with information about Laster or Grant is urged to call Crime Stoppers in South Carolina at 1888-CRIME-SC.