By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In Philadelphia, an all-too-familiar plea circulates.
The city’s police department said it needs the public’s help in finding 13-year-old Jada Blackwell, last seen on Sunday, October 10, along East Haines Street.
Jada stands 5 feet two inches and weighs about 130 pounds. While authorities said they couldn’t describe her clothing, Jada has brown eyes and black hair.
Anyone with information should immediately call 215-686-3353 or 911.
Of course – and unfortunately, Jada Blackwell isn’t an isolated case.
On June 11, 17-year-old Janiah Cane went missing from her home in Chicago. Authorities said she has black hair and brown eyes and stands 5 feet 6 inches tall. Janiah reportedly weighs 140 pounds and frequently changes hairstyles.
Anyone with information should immediately call 1-800-843-5678, 312-746-6000, or 911.
Additionally, it’s been nine months since loved ones last saw Creg Lyles of Waterford, Michigan.
The 33-year-old’s disappearance has stunned his distraught family, who said he’s always in contact with his loved ones.
“He was actually the glue to his family,” his aunt Sharon Dillon told reporters.
Authorities reported that they recovered boots near the apartment complex where Lyles lived that could belong to him.
“If anybody knows anything, we want them to contact the Waterford Police Department immediately,” Dillon said.
If anyone has information about Creg Lyles, please call (248) 618-6041.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association routinely keeps track of missing individuals of color and has endorsed the mission of the Black and Missing Foundation.
Derrica and Natalie Wilson started the Black and Missing Foundation in 2008. The nonprofit has continued to raise awareness of missing persons of color and provide vital resources and tools to missing people’s families and friends.
At least 40 percent of individuals missing in America are individuals of color.
Last month when 22-year-old Gabby Petito, a white woman, vanished and was later discovered murdered, media outlets were called out for their dogged coverage of that case – they have a practice of lifting missing white people and overlooking individuals of color.
“We find that when people of color, men and women, go missing, automatically it’s assumed that there’s some criminal activity involved or they’ve just run away. So they are stereotyped and not taken seriously,” Natalie Wilson has stated.
When authorities classify a case as a runaway, there’s no Amber Alert, and the media tends to ignore the matter, she said.
“Even if they are runaways, we have to find them within the first 48 hours because we need to understand why they ran away and realize that many are lured into sex trafficking,” Wilson stated.
For more information on the Black and Missing Foundation, visit www.blackandmissinginc.com.