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Tampa police release surveillance images of missing Brandon woman

TAMPA — Police released surveillance images Thursday that show a Brandon woman walking alone in Ybor City last week shortly before she vanished.

A surveillance camera also captured images of Apryl Foster's car heading east on Seventh Avenue in the early morning of Feb. 12. Tampa police held a news conference with Foster's parents to publicize the images with the hope that they might elicit tips.

"We're pretty sure it's her car. It's a very distinct vehicle," said Deputy Chief Brian Dugan.

Foster, 33, vanished after leaving the Double Decker karaoke bar in Ybor City. At 2:19 a.m., she spoke with a man she had met outside the bar. The two exchanged phone numbers, then walked away in opposite directions, police said.

Foster did not show up for work the next day. Her parents reported her missing Feb. 13.

Since then, investigators have talked to many of Foster's friends and acquaintances, including her estranged husband and the man she exchanged numbers with at the bar. They have found nothing suspicious.

Detectives also reviewed surveillance footage from more than 50 cameras in Ybor City that turned up the images of her walking and the shot of her car heading east. They also used a helicopter to scour the routes between Ybor City and Foster's home in Brandon, but have found no sign of her.

Early Thursday, investigators met with Foster's parents, Peggy and Craig Beman, along with a group of her friends, to detail their findings so far.

"That's unprecedented in my experience here at the police department," Dugan said. "We did a 'groupthink' approach. We laid out everything that we have and then we asked them 'Is there anything that we're missing?' "

The effort gave detectives a few more things to look into, Dugan said. He did not offer specifics.

The Bemans, who traveled to Tampa this week from their Texas home to search for their daughter, praised the police efforts.

"The Police Department has not kept us out of the loop," Peggy Beman said.

A reward for information on Foster's whereabouts has risen to $18,500. The Gonzmart family, owners of Ulele, the Tampa Heights restaurant where Foster works as a server, donated $10,000 of the reward fund. Smaller amounts came from Premier Beverage, the law firm of de la Grana & Boardman, Foster's parents, and an unidentified private citizen.

The case has attracted the attention of national news outlets, including People magazine and HLN's Nancy Grace.

Foster was last seen wearing a black and gray hooded sweatshirt and black work pants. Her hair was in a double bun. She drove a red Chevrolet Aveo with a Nebraska Cornhuskers plate on the front and license tag K12-5YC.

Anyone with information about her disappearance can call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130 or Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

Contact Dan Sullivan at dsullivan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

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