Overview of Bryanna Lynn Cooper Rosendo
Please help Bryanna’s family bring her home.
If circumstances had only been a little different, Bryanna Lynn Cooper Rosenda may have achieved fame as an entertainer, singer, or dancer. As a young girl born in the mid-1980s, she loved singing, dancing, and playing dress-up, perhaps to escape the reality of her childhood. She grew up poor in rural Luzerne County, PA, with parents who were not always able to give her the attention she deserved. Her childhood was not lacking in love, however. The brightest spot in her childhood was the devotion of her maternal grandmother, with whom she spent much time. She also was especially close with her cousin. The girls spent every minute they could together, praying for school to be canceled on snow days so they could play with Barbies, glitter, and paint, and retreat into a happy world of their own making. As she grew, Bryanna exhibited a flair for fashion and style, and when she entered a room, she commanded the attention of everyone with her beauty, confidence, and personality.
She began acting out after the death of a beloved aunt, which resulted in a childhood mistake - a fight with another girl - that landed her in a juvenile detention facility at age 12. This series of events robbed her of an education and ultimately, her future. She was caught up in a political scandal occurring in Wilkes-Barre at the time, Kids for Cash. Essentially, kids with minor infractions were sentenced to unduly harsh terms at facilities in exchange for kickbacks. In this environment, Bryanna endured horrible punishments and became a victim of crimes, until she was finally released to the care of her grandmother when she was 16. She did well for a few years, but given her lack of education and development at this critical time in life, her fate seemed to be sealed. She ultimately dropped out of school, became pregnant and had her son, and eventually started experimenting with serious drug use, which resulted in her losing parental rights. For the next several years she alternated between periods of sobriety and substance use disorder. She eventually married and had another son, and she was a loving, devoted and attentive mother when she was able to remain sober. However, with her juvenile record and no GED or driver’s license, the deck seemed stacked against her no matter how determined she was to remain abstinent and make an honest living. She divorced her husband, and even during her darkest periods of drug use, stayed in contact with her son, visiting whenever his father would allow it. Though their relationship was strained, he cared for Bryanna and continually attempted to extricate her from the lifestyle she found herself in.
Unfortunately, Bryanna’s later relationships have frequently been complicated and difficult, sometimes even dangerously so. She experienced homelessness and often had little choice but to stay with men with whom she had troubled relationships, on friends’ couches, or in questionable hotels in the Wilkes-Barre area. Like so many others, she had coped with the pain and disappointment in her life by using substances and resorting to doing whatever was needed in order to survive, but she had also made numerous attempts at abstinence and strove to be a good mother to her children. Throughout her struggles there was one constant - regardless of how difficult her circumstances became, she never went more than a couple of months without being in touch with her family. She was a prolific user of social media; she had multiple Facebook profiles and a multitude of Facebook friends with whom she was in regular contact. That is, until one day in May of 2021, when all contact ceased.
Due to her unstructured lifestyle, it wasn’t immediately apparent that Bryanna had vanished.
Following the 2015 divorce from the father of her son, she had been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship that was not positive or healthy. In late 2020 that relationship too ended, and she again found herself without permanent housing. A friend spotted her at the Wilkes-Barre Lodge, a somewhat run-down motel that had a reputation for drug activity. According to someone close to her, she was there until a few days before a drug raid that occurred on the site, then moved into a male friend’s home with an African-American man she had met on an app. They were all staying at the home of this man, who was an older Caucasian male, as he was rumored to take in street people and individuals with nowhere else to go. Bryanna had periodically stayed with this man in the past and kept some clothing and belongings at his home. In late April of 2021, she contacted her ex-husband using a cell phone with a Georgia area code, but she explained she was not actually in Georgia and had just borrowed the phone.
After this, the timeline gets a bit convoluted. The male friend Bryanna was staying with claimed that Bryanna left his home in May to go to Baltimore, MD with the man she met on the app. But numerous friends and associates confirmed that they saw Bryanna between May and September of 2021 at this person’s home. Bryanna’s last activity can be traced on social media to May 10, 2021, when she liked one of her ex-boyfriend’s posts. Following that, none of her literally one thousand-plus Facebook friends nor her family have heard a single word from her.
Because of this sudden silence on social media, Bryanna’s family went into action.
Her ex-boyfriend, realizing this lack of social media activity was highly unusual for Bryanna, contacted both her ex-husband and her mother and urged them to file a missing persons report with the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department. The police took the report, but the family got the impression that due to her lifestyle, law enforcement didn’t take it as seriously as they would have liked, nor did they act with particular urgency. Over the next few months, family, friends, and associates attempted to contact Bryanna, but her cell phone number was answered by an unknown woman who claimed she had the phone for a couple of months, and that she didn’t know Bryanna. Family members contacted hospitals and jails in PA, NY, NJ, and MD in an attempt to locate her. Multiple people told conflicting stories of seeing Bryanna - some in neighboring boroughs, others claimed they were informed she had left town with the man she was seeing in September and was currently in Baltimore with him. In January of 2022, a particularly disturbing account of seeing Bryanna being pulled out of a black Kia Optima hinted that she may have been a victim of human trafficking, which solidified the family’s belief that she was not missing voluntarily.
Where the case stands today
In late January and early February of 2022, Bryanna’s case was added to multiple resources, such as NamUs, PA Crimestoppers, and the Doe Network. An investigator from a different county met with Bryanna’s mother and indicated that her name was mentioned frequently in connection with a human trafficking investigation he was conducting. To the family’s relief, this investigator confirmed he, too, suspected Bryanna to be a victim and was considering her as such. The family was also informed by an associate of Bryanna’s that she was spotted alive in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, an area notorious for drug activity and human trafficking. Numerous women and girls have gone missing from that area this year alone. There was also speculation that Bryanna may have been serving as a confidential informant for the local police, which could be related to her disappearance. Bryanna’s family remains desperate for answers, and they hope that raising awareness of her case may help bring their loved one home safely.