Trapped in Turks and Caicos: Florida family fighting for freedom of detained Orlando woman

The family of an Orlando woman facing charges in Turks and Caicos is raising money to fight for her freedom. 

Sharitta Grier is one of five Americans now detained on the island after bullets were allegedly found in her luggage. 

"It was a nightmare. I never experienced something like that in my life," said Sharitta Grier. 

Grier is scheduled to go before a judge in July. Until then, she's stuck on the island and anxious about her freedom. 

"I'm feeling a little better today. As for wondering what's going to happen, I think I'm still all over the place," said Grier. 

Grier was in Turks and Caicos this month for a surprise Mother's Day trip with her daughters. 

She said she packed a duffle bag she uses to store her gun and bullets. Grier says she thought she did a good job of cleaning it out. 


However, the Turks and Caicos Islands Civil Aviation Authority, which is the equivalent agency to the Transportation Security Administration, flagged the bag after they said two bullets were found. 

Grier said they were at the bottom of the bag and hidden under a luggage insert. 

"I didn't know. I didn't see them. I didn't hear them. I knew nothing about rounds in that bag," said Grier. 

Grier said she spent three nights in jail and was released on bond. 

"I've never even been to jail. I've never been in any trouble besides a speeding ticket," said Grier. 

If convicted, firearm and ammunition offenses carry a minimum sentence of 12 years on the island. Several U.S. lawmakers traveled to Turks and Caicos this week to plead for everyone's release. 

Florida Secretary of State Cord Boyd confirmed he met with government officials to "determine how we can expedite their release and prevent this from happening to other Americans in the future." 


Grier said she hadn't heard about the other arrests before hers. Now, she's staying in a house with other American detainees, waiting for updates, too. She said she often thinks about a Facebook post made before the trip. Over the weekend, she prayed as the family got ready to leave. She said her faith helps her get through each day. 

"Knowing that post and everything ending like this. I just feel God is in the midst of this whole thing," said Grier, "I don't know what the end is going to be. What the story will be. God has a plan in the midst of all this." 

To help the family, you can read more about their GoFundMe here: Fundraiser by Kaneesha Lucas : Sharitta’s Turks & Caicos Detainment Relief Fund! (