ELMONT, NY (PIX11) — The older sister of Samantha Denise Primus, who is deaf, non-verbal and autistic, couldn’t believe that Primus was found in a cold, soaking rain on Dec. 23, taken to Queens Hospital Center, and then discharged into the dead of night in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
“As per the hospital, she was discharged at 2 o’clock in the morning on Christmas Eve,” the missing woman’s sister, Joanna Peck, told PIX11 News. “You’re telling me you gave her a list of shelters to go to?”
Primus, 46, has not been seen since.
The Brooklyn resident had been visiting her sister in Elmont, Long Island in advance of the Christmas holidays, because their mother had gone to St. Lucia to visit a brother who was having surgery.
Peck said her sister made it clear on Thursday evening, Dec. 22, that she wanted to go back to Brooklyn. But Peck said Primus, known as Denise, agreed to stay three more days.
“Among us, we have our own sign language,” Peck said, “and we really understand each other.”
Peck said her sister indicated she was fine with the plans to wait a few days.
“She gave me a thumbs up and smiled when I went to work,” Peck said.
Yet hours later, home security footage showed Primus leaving her sister’s house about 4 in the morning on Friday, Dec. 23.
There was a howling wind outside, along with an icy rain, during a day when hundreds of flights were canceled for holiday travelers.
Joanna Peck eventually learned that 16 hours later, someone called an ambulance for her sister at 190th Street and Hillside Avenue in Hollis, Queens—about three and half miles away from Elmont.
“Someone had to have seen her laying on the ground,” Peck said. “She was down on the ground.”
The ambulance took Primus to the emergency room at Queens Hospital Center, where she was evaluated. She reportedly told the staff her leg was hurting her. Personnel noted that she was disheveled. Primus reportedly received Tylenol for the leg pain.
In the meantime, Primus’ family was filing a missing persons report with Nassau County Police.
A couple of days later, the ambulance medic who picked Primus up in Hollis saw a missing flyer online and notified Nassau County detectives that he had taken her to Queens Hospital Center on Friday, Dec. 23.
But Primus was long gone from the hospital.
The family then learned they would have to file a new missing persons report with the NYPD, because Primus had disappeared a second time after visiting the hospital in Queens.
“They should have been better trained,” Joanna Peck said of the people who dealt with her sister. “I would have to say, ‘We can’t let this person out. I would call the police.'”
Primus is one of 10 siblings born in St. Lucia who later settled in New York and Canada.
Primus has lived for years with her mother and brother on East 91st Street in Brooklyn. As a teen, she once disappeared and made her way to the Bronx.
This is the longest time Samantha Denise Primus has ever been gone from home. Her sister feels badly she initially disappeared from Elmont.
“My heart is breaking right now, knowing that she left from my house,” Joanna Peck said. “I want to tell people, ‘Just pay attention, because she’s not the kind of individual to ask for help.'”