Mother searching for answers after daughter found dead in shelter

The cause of the woman's death is still yet to be determined, but at this time the police say they don’t suspect foul play.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Feb 1, 2024, 1:24 AM

Updated 136 days ago

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A mother from the Bronx says she is heartbroken and full of questions after her daughter was found dead in a shelter in Harlem.
Jenelle Evans, 33, was last seen on Jan. 17 entering Help USA on Hamilton Place in Harlem with her 3-year-old son, where they had lived for around two weeks. Evans’ dead body wasn’t found until days later.
“I just want to know what happened, and why wasn’t a wellness check done to see if she was okay,” said Evans’ mother, Adrienne Smith. “After four days, she was found deceased in her room with my 3-year-old grandson.”
Evans was found after her sister went to the shelter to check on her and discovered her dead in her bedroom. Her son was alive next to her.
The cause of Evans’ death is still yet to be determined, but at this time the police say they don’t suspect foul play. Help USA is a privately operated shelter for women and children, and it’s unclear if the shelter has a protocol to check on residents who haven’t been seen for days.
“The shelter is ridiculous,” said Evans’ uncle Cleveland Bradley. “It’s pathetic that this is how they function… this is someone’s life. This is someone’s family.”
The NYPD says this remains an active investigation at this time. News 12 reached out to Help USA for a statement and is awaiting a response.


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