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Update: Missing Miami socialite shows up at father’s house

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Malika James, 28, vanished from suburban Miami over the weekend, setting off a widespread social media campaign to bring her home. James is a graduate of Curtis High School in University Place, and much of her family still lives in the Northwest. (Photo: Courtesy)

BREAKING UPDATE: Malika Jones’ mother tells KIRO Radio that her daughter showed up at her dad’s house in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Wednesday morning. The circumstances or her disappearance are unclear, but Marilyn Jones says Malika left the Miami area over the weekend of her own free will and is in good health. Her mother thanked everyone who prayed for their family and helped bring Malika home safe.

Original story below:

Sitting in her downtown Tacoma apartment on Tuesday, Marilyn James waited for any news about her daughter.

“I’m going to keep thinking she’s OK until I find out different,” she said.

Her 28-year-old daughter, Malika James, vanished from Miami over the weekend, setting off a widespread social media campaign to bring her home.

A graduate of Curtis High School in University Place, Malika lived in the Tacoma area for much of her life. She later moved in with her father in the suburban town of Pembroke Pines, Florida, and has become a fixture on the Miami nightlife scene.

Considered a socialite by some, Malika was often seen at art and fashion events around the city, and was photographed last week at Art Basel, a star-studded arts celebration that attracts roughly 75,000 attendees each year.

“I can see the socialite status, but she’s deeper than that,” said her sister, 40-year-old Malquida James. “She was in the art community, she loves art. I would say (she’s) an artistic butterfly.”

Malquida and Marilyn said it would be completely out of character for Malika to disappear without telling friends or family.

“Something had to have happened to her,” Marilyn said.

It was initially reported that Malika was last seen in the Wynwood district of Miami late Saturday evening, according to friends on social media. However, the Pembroke Pines Police Department released surveillance images Tuesday afternoon that place Malika in the town of Winter Haven, Florida, early Monday morning – more than 24 hours after she was last seen by friends and more than 220 miles away from Miami.

The surveillance images depict Malika pulling up to a Chase Bank ATM.

“Images of Ms. James were obtained showing her to be in good physical condition, in her vehicle alone,” Pembroke police wrote in a statement. “At this time there is no indication of foul play regarding this missing person.”

Marilyn said if her daughter decided to disappear on her own, she hopes she’ll call a family member or friend.

“I just love you,” Marilyn said to her daughter. “Please, call someone. Contact the police. Nothing’s wrong. Everything is all good. We just want to hear from you, please.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Malika James is urged to contact the Pembroke Pines Police Department at 954-431-2200, email to [email protected], or call Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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