Reward increased for information on missing Tampa woman
February 18th, 2015 by Staff
(WFTS.COM) TAMPA, Fla. – Apryl Foster’s face flashed across nearly 40 Clear Channel digital billboards Tuesday in Tampa.
Her smile is taped to smudgy windows along Seventh Avenue.
It’s almost like the 33-year-old Ulele server and trainer just vanished when she walked out of an Ybor City bar early Thursday morning.
“She was in high spirits. She was laughing, joking, talking with all of us,” her friend Jessica Swafford said. “It was just a normal night in Ybor.”
“At this point, she’s a ghost,” Swafford said.
“She literally walked out of that camera view and disappeared from the face of the planet – is something that’s not of her character,” she said.
Swafford is one of the last people to interact with Apryl before she disappeared.
“I can’t help but think about what if I had stayed with her,” she said.
The two met up at the Ybor City bar Bad Money to hang out that night.
“There’s not any one thing that there was a red flag, that anything was wrong. She was in high spirits. She had a smile on her face. If there would have been anything out of the ordinary, that would have came up. I would have noticed it,” Swafford said.
Swafford says Apryl walked next door with a guy to the Double Decker to sing karaoke but left alone around 2:20 am.
It’s a night she rehashes over and over again, wishing she hadn’t let her go alone.
“It does have a little sinking feeling in my stomach because it makes me feel that something very terrible has happened but I am really trying to hold out hope that we will find her safe and sound,” she said.
On Monday night and Tuesday, friends and family of Foster posted and handed out fliers up and down Seventh Avenue. They also helped police scour Ybor parking garages in search of her vehicle, a 2009 red Chevrolet Aveo with Florida tag K125YC.
Richard Gonzmart, who owns Ulele and the Columbia restaurants, is offering a $10,000 reward for information. Ulele’s vendor partner, Premier Beverage, is chipping in $4,000.
Her family is also offering $1,000, bringing the total to $15,000.
“She’s one of our own, you know, and I think he’d do it for any of our servers. It’s just a tragic situation,” said Ulele and Columbia restaurants Chief Marketing Officer Michael Kilgore.