Community honors missing Niagara Falls woman with cell-phone vigil

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A community came together Monday evening to support the family of Amber Merrell, 37, from Niagara Falls. She went missing last month. Her family says they won’t stop looking until they find her. Instead of candles, supporters lit up the sky with cell phones to help spread the word to bring Merrell home.

Rose Harvey said she hasn’t been able to sleep since her Granddaughter went missing July 18. She said, “I just want to know that she is safe.” That day, a phone call with Merrell ended abruptly. She said, “I tried calling her back, and there was no answer. I haven’t been able to hear her voice since.”

merrellMerrell’s cousin, Denielle Strope explained the use of cellphones at the event, “Candelight vigils are usually for the deceased. We wanted to do something different. Something Amber loved, and to bring hope.”

Merell was last seen at her home in the Cayuga Village trailer park. Family says they don’t know what happened to the mom of three, but some say they fear the worst.

Strope said, “My biggest fear? The Gates and the Bills case. I fear she suffered the same fate.” She was referring to the case where two bodies of Niagara Falls women were found dismembered over the past few years. Police say Merrell’s disappearance is not connected to those crimes at this stage in their investigation.

Posters have been plastered around town asking for the public’s help. Until then, family said they won’t stop looking for her. “I know that through my faith we will find her because I won’t stop until I do,” said Harvey.

Anyone with information on Merrell’s disappearance is asked to call the Town of Niagara Police at 716-215-1480 or the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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