What happened to Stevie Bates? Police look for answers in disappearance of Occupy Wall Street protester found dead in Queens

Stevie Bates' remains identified a decade after her disappearance
The remains of Stevie Bates were identified more than a decade after her disappearance.
Photo courtesy of NYPD

The last eyes to see Stevie Bates, 20, alive were those of security cameras at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in April 2012.

More than a decade later, the former Occupy Wall Street protester was officially declared dead after being positively identified through an examination of skeletal remains recovered from a construction site in Queens in September 2020.

Now, police need anyone with information about Bates’ disappearance to come forward and help solve the mystery surrounding how she died, and why.

The Medical Examiner’s office, though they were able to identify Bates’ remains, were not able as yet to ascertain a cause of death. Police sources believe she may have suffered from a fatal overdose; foul play has not yet been ruled out. 

According to the missing person’s report on Bates, she had participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests during 2011 and 2012. She was undomiciled, and last seen alive in person at 8 a.m. on April 12, 2012 leaving her sister’s home on Sterling Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The following month, Vivian Jones, Stevie Bates’ mother, reported her daughter’s disappearance to police. Jones told police that Bates told her on April 26, 2012 that she was en route back to New York on a bus trip from Arkansas.

On a website set up by Bates’ family documenting the case, Jones wrote in 2013 that she last spoke with Bates on the phone on April 27, and Bates had told her she was going to see her ex-boyfriend in Brooklyn. 

Bates’ boyfriend, whose name is listed on the Bates website but withheld here due to the ongoing investigation, has not been officially identified as a suspect, and currently lives out of state, police sources said Saturday.

Then, on April 28, 2012 security cameras at the Port Authority Bus Terminal captured the last images of Bates alive. Jones would report Bates’ disappearance to police in May 2012, and the search went on for eight years without any breaks.

Finally, on Sept. 18, 2020, construction workers excavating a building site at 80-97 Cypress Ave. in Glendale located human remains wrapped in a blanket. Police picked up the remains and transferred them to the Medical Examiner’s office for further investigation.

It took two years for the Medical Examiner’s office, in conferral with police investigators, to finally identify the remains as those of Bates. 

The investigation into her death remains ongoing, police sources said.

Anyone with information regarding the case can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.