Chelsea Michelle Cobo Disappearance: Was the Brooklyn Mother Ever Found?

By Kieran Burt
Published: January 26, 2024
Chelsea Michelle Cobo Disappearance Case and Theories
Chelsea Michelle Cobo | Image via ABC7

In May 2016, Chelsea Michelle Cobo was seen for the last time in New York before she went missing, greatly worrying her adopted mother Rose Cobo. Rose has kept searching for Chelsea in the years since, refusing to accept the idea that her daughter is lost forever. It’s a complicated case, as just before Chelsea went missing, she had troubles with both drugs and depression, which has led many to theorise that they played a part in her disappearance. However, until Chelsea is found, it’s impossible to know definitively what happened to her.

Chelsea was only 22 when she went missing. Just before this, she found out that her biological mother had died, which contributed to her depression. It’s likely that Chelsea also suffered from postnatal depression after giving birth to her son Christopher in the previous July. Rose is now taking care of Christopher and will continue to do so until Chelsea returns.

Chelsea Michelle Cobo Disappearance Case

Rose, Chelsea’s adopted mother, explained that things started to go downhill in October 2015, when Chelsea started to go out and party a lot, even though she’d given birth to her son just under three months before. It’s possible that Chelsea was suffering from postnatal depression, which is a type of depression that parents can have just after having a baby.

This took even more of a downturn when Chelsea’s biological mother died on February 27, 2016. The death struck Chelsea extremely hard, and she was admitted to Coney Island Hospital with a deep depression. After spending just over a month there, she was released in April 2016, and for around 10 days, everything was normal and well.

On April 21, 2016, Chelsea would go out to hang out with some friends, making sure to inform her family of the location. But she didn’t return home until three days later, nearly causing Rose to file a missing person case with the police. On April 24, Chelsea and Rose took a selfie together which when studied revealed that Chelsea had bruises on her right arm. Rose learned that Chelsea had been allegedly “drugged and robbed” the previous night and immediately rushed her to the Maimonides Hospital. While there, the medics found drugs in her body.

Chelsea would stay on the psych ward for a week before being released on May 3. On May 4, she allegedly went out to get her hair done and run a few errands but when Chelsea was picked up by Rose she was found under the influence of drugs, which Chelsea claimed were the ones she was prescribed. Rose eventually found out that her adopted daughter had lied about why she had gone out and instead had met a guy called “Anthony” who would visit her and her roommate Sabrine at the Coney Island hospital. Anthony was a drug dealer and had allegedly delivered some to Chelsea.

On May 6, Rose took Chelsea to Lutheran Hospital rehab. However, Chelsea quickly disappeared, and Rose couldn’t get in touch with her until late at night on May 7. Chelsea claimed she was out with her boyfriend, who was later identified as Anthony and would come home after the pair had eaten. This was the last time Rose spoke to Chelsea.

Chelsea Michelle Cobo

Image via ABC7

Was Chelsea Michelle Cobo ever found?

To this day, no one knows the whereabouts of Chelsea, even years after her disappearance. In the face of this, it wouldn’t be surprising for people to give up hope, but Chelsea’s adopted mother Rose is still strong in her belief that Chelsea will be found one day, and reunited with the rest of her family.

Rose has hired two private detectives, often calls the police for updates, hands out flyers, and regularly checks the lists of escort listings to see if Chelsea is on there. She’s determined that one day Chelsea will come home.

Theories on Chelsea Michelle Cobo’s Disappearance

In the absence of any concrete information on Chelsea’s whereabouts, several people have come up with different theories on why Chelsea disappeared. Rose, Chelsea’s adopted mother, firmly believes that Chelsea was forced into sex trafficking, either by her new friends who got her hooked on drugs or by any other person who might prey on her. She argues that Chelsea was in a vulnerable state of mind, grieving her mother’s death, and newly addicted to drugs, so Chelsea would have been in a position where traffickers could manipulate and force her into sex work.

Rose believed this so passionately that she hired the private investigator, Sean Crowley, to look for Chelsea and investigate the trafficking theory. He asked a sex worker in New York about her, and the sex worker was able to identify Chelsea in a photograph and said that she’d seen Chelsea walking the streets of Coney Island. However, this hasn’t been conclusively proven.

Other theories suggest that because Chelsea was depressed, stressed, and under the influence of drugs, she might have committed suicide to escape the pain. She might have overdosed somewhere alone or with friends, who then panicked and hid the body somewhere. Again, this is unproven.

A final theory suggests that Chelsea might have decided to run away and start her life anew. Again, the depression and stress might have been too much for her to bear, and Chelsea might have chosen to have a fresh start to get away from all of the difficult feelings. This too is unproven however.

Did the police find Chelsea Michelle Cobo?

On May 7 she left in a taxi at Sunset Park near 68th Street and Bay Parkway. She was just 22 years old, and her son was only 10 months old at the time. Surveillance footage from the New York Police Department (NYPD) captured the last time Chelsea was last seen on May 8 at about 1:40 am, when she was dropped off by a cab near the now defunct La Floridita Restaurant and Club.

Another surveillance video shows a woman who matches the appearance of Chelsea leaving an apartment on 51st Street in Sunset Park that belongs to a family friend of Anthony, whom Chelsea was allegedly doing drugs with on the night of her disappearance, though Rose disputes that this is Chelsea.

Over the years, Chelsea’s case has been moved to several different NYPD departments, including the Missing Persons and Sex-Trafficking Departments. In March 2019, the case was treated as a homicide, and it’s now unclear who is handling the case, making it difficult for Rose to ask for follow-ups or any more information.

In January 2019, Rose decided to confront the owner of the house where Chelsea had allegedly been doing drugs just before she disappeared. The owner allegedly confessed that Chelsea had died from an overdose and that he and his roommate disposed of the body by wrapping it in a blanket. Rose has said that a recording of this has been provided to the NYPD.

Who is Chelsea Michelle Cobo?

Chelsea Michelle Cobo is a young woman born in the New York borough of Brooklyn on November 8, 1993. Just 13 months later, however, Chelsea’s care was given to her paternal aunt, Rose Cobo, after both Chelsea’s parents showed signs of mental illness and were unable to care for her. Chelsea was adopted by Rose when she was around 7 years old, and the pair had a very close relationship. Chelsea also has a son called Christopher, who she gave birth to aged 21 on July 11, 2015.