Black and Missing, But Not Forgotten, is a blog that gives us daily reminders of the lack of regard that is given to the lives of many Black women who go missing. Black and Missing was founded in July 2007 in effort to raise more awareness of the missing black women, children and men, and turns a spotlight on the callous disregard that is often shown by law enforcement in dragging their feet in the search for missing black women, and how the disappearance of Black women and girls is ignored and trivialized by both the police and the media.
The Missing Pretty White Woman Syndrome looms like a cloud over the many Black women, girls, and even the missing men and boys who go unoticed, and uncared for, people whose lives have very little value in a society which worships the sanctity and protection of White womanhood.
Jamaica Smith, 36, was described as 5-foot-9, about 160 pounds and wearing a blue jacket, grey sweater, blue jeans and black and white rain boots, according to police.
She was last seen at her home at 177th Street and 106th Avenue, investigators said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, text their tips to 274637 then enter TIP577 or log on to nypdcrimestoppers.com.
“Chicago’s Missing Children: Where was the Media?”
What’s going on Chicago? Several alerts went out within the last week – despite it being at least weeks since some of them went missing. Does it take one death to know that Chicago did not do enough for their missing?
Relatives had held out hope for Jahmeshia Conner, who relatives last saw her alive Nov. 15 at about 8 p.m. when she boarded a westbound bus on 63rd Street from Racine Avenue.
“I was just praying that it was not her,” said her mother, Birdie Lewis after getting a call from police about the discovery of a girl’s body Monday afternoon.
She said once she saw the collection of keyrings that police recovered from the body, she knew the girl was her daughter, an outgoing church choir member who loved to double dutch jump rope and who had recently made Luke O’Toole Elementary School school’s cheerleading squad.
The body was discovered shortly before 7 a.m. in an alley on the 6400 block of South Marshfield Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer Gabrielle Lesniak. A man walking with his young daughter found the body lying near trash cans, said Conner’s aunt, Sheila Powell.
The girl was missing her shoes and socks, the man told her. She otherwise was clothed, a police source said.
Police said they have no one in custody in the case.
An autopsy Tuesday found that the girl was strangled, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Family members said there wasn’t a lot media attention to the girl’s case. Family members and supporters plastered the area with flyers seeking information about the four-foot-nine, 120-pound girl.
Jahmeshia had been to her aunt’s house Nov. 15, stopping there after church services. When she didn’t come home, her mother assumed she’d spent the night at her aunt’s. She panicked when she learned otherwise.
Jahmeshia, who had four brothers and two sisters and spent time in praise dance practices, wasn’t likely a runaway, her folks insisted.
Community activist Andrew Holmes included her poster with those of a couple of other 12-year olds that have gone missing recently, who said he found it difficult to bring awareness to the cases.
“I tried so hard before Thanksgiving.”
“There just isn’t enough attention out here with all these (missing) kids,” he said. “All kids are not considered runaways. I believe that if this baby’s picture had been on TV and in the open, someone would have called in.’
“Maybe this baby would be living today.”
Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis on Friday promised that his department will conduct a thorough review of why it did not alert the news media about a missing 12-year-old girl who turned up dead two weeks later.
Acknowledging the crucial role the media can play in missing-person cases, Weis said the department is trying to determine whether computer or human error was responsible for the failure to alert the media to Jahmeshia Conner’s disappearance.
“There’s no excuse for that,” Weis said. “News affairs is very conscientious about getting this type of information out, especially when it could possibly lead to saving someone’s life.”
No one was in custody for the strangulation of Jahmeshia, a fifth-grader who was last seen getting on a bus near 63rd Street and Racine Avenue Nov. 15.
“Our hearts are broken that we were not able to find this child alive,” Weis said at a news conference at police headquarters.
The family has raised concerns about how the department investigated Jahmeshia’s disappearance. Relatives reported her missing to police Nov. 16, a day after they last saw her.
Chicago police are asking for help finding a missing boy in Englewood.
His name is Antez Miller, and he is 13 years old. He’s 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.
He was last seen Sunday morning near 73rd and Wolcott. He was wearing a yellow and blue sweatshirt, jeans and gym shoes.
People with information are asked to call police at (312) 747-8385.
Chicago police were still searching for a 15-year-old girl who was reported missing in April, police said this evening.
Keonza Phillips may be in the area of Wilson Avenue and Sheridan Road or Lawrence Avenue and Sheridan on the North Side. Police said she also may be in the area of North and Laramie Avenues on the West Side.
Phillips was reported missing, however, from Southwest Side on April 23, police said.
She is described as African-American with a medium complexion, 5 feet 2, 120 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.
Anyone with information about Phillips or her whereabouts should call the Wentworth Area special victims unit, 312-747-8385.
Dominique Hughes was last seen Thursday and is missing from the 6400 block of South Carpenter Street, according to a release from Wentworth Area detectives.
Hughes was last seen wearing a black coat, blue jeans and red and white shoes, the release said. She wears her hair in a ponytail, usually on the right side of her head.
Hughes is described as a black female with a medium complexion with brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5-foot-4 and 105 pounds, the release said.
Anyone with information about Hughes should call 911 or Wentworth Area detectives’ Special Victim’s Unit at (312) 747-8385
A 14-year-old girl has been missing for about a month and Chicago police this evening are seeking the public’s help in finding her.
Christine Harris went missing from the area of 26th Street and King Drive, not far from McCormick Place, on Nov. 7, police said.
Harris (right) is described as African-American with a medium complexion, 5 feet, 110 pounds, with red and brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about Harris or where she may be should call the Wentworth Area special victims unit, 312-747-8385.
A missing West Side girl was located 10 hours before Chicago Police sent out an alert early this morning asking for the public’s help in finding her, according to police.
Shakia Porter, 16, disappeared Friday from the 4800 block of West Adams Street, police said. About 1 a.m. today, police e-mailed members of the news media a copy of a missing person alert regarding Porter.
About 11:35 a.m., the Chicago Police News Affairs office sent out another e-mail, stating that Porter “has been located and reunited with her family as of 3 p.m.” on Sunday. Grand-Central Area detectives who were responsible for the case apparently failed to alert later detective shifts that Porter had been located, police said.
Chicago police have been issuing numerous missing persons alerts since an alert about a missing 12-year-old girl was mishandled. The body of Jahmeshia Conner, who was last seen Nov. 16, was found near her Englewood home Nov. 30. Police News Affairs failed to send out an alert about Conner’s disappearance, and Police Supt. Jody Weis promised answers about why the alert had not been issued.
Taneasha Simms, 14, has been reunited with her family.
She had not been seen by her parents since she was dropped off at Orr High School Tuesday morning.
Her father dropped her off at the front door of the high school on Tuesday. School records show she missed classes that day.
She was found near her family’s home on Chicago’s West Side. Relatives and friends said she had no history of running away.
A 13-year-old West Side girl who went missing on Thanksgiving day has been located, police said Sunday.
Shavon Elam, 13, from the 4100 block of West Monroe Street, was last seen on Nov. 26 at about 1 p.m. at home, News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said. She was reported missing three days later, on Nov. 29, by her mother, Perez said.
The girl was last seen in the area of Pulaski Road and Wilcox Street visiting her mom, according an alert from Harrison Area detectives.
Shavon has been located and police canceled her missing person investigation Sunday evening, police said.
Police could not provide further details in the incident.
The Chicago Police Department is making changes in how they handle missing persons cases following the death of 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner.
Conner was reported missing by her family two weeks before her body was found in an alley on the city’s South Side.
The most obvious change is that the police are sending out alerts immediately to the media. ABC7 got a number of them over the weekend. The police are sending them out without comment.
The superintendent has admitted that the department failed to send out an alert on the Conner case quickly enough. The department has also faced some criticism in their handling of that case. Some family members believe that the department did not take it seriously enough, so the superintendent says that he is vowing to take a closer look at cases like this and make sure that the department is doing all it can.
The last month has been a nightmare for Kim Harris. Her 14-year-old daughter Christine has been missing. No one has seen or heard from her, and Harris has had a difficult time getting the word out.
“The first 24 hours are the most critical. And it’s been a month. And I’m just hoping and praying that Christine is alive, you know, and that she comes home soon,” said Harris.
When Harris heard about the murder of 12-year-old Conner, she says her heart sank. The Englewood girl was missing for two weeks before her body was found in an alley near her home. She had been strangled.
“It’s very frustrating because these kids are still out here. They need to be at home. I don’t want the parent to go through the tragedy that these parents went through,” said Andrew Holmes.
Holmes has been working with the families of more than 20 missing juveniles in Chicago. Police say past statistics suggest many of them ran away from home and most will return on their own. But, regardless, they are now re-evaluating how they handle these cases.
“Each one will be looked at individually. You can’t just have a blanket policy. I do think it’s safe when you’re dealing with young children, especially if it’s not a kidnapping and where you no there is no ransom or phone calls, so you might be facing the most difficult thing, which is a child abduction, time is of the essence,” Jody Weis, Chicago Police superintendent.
Rev. Ira Acree, Jasmin Acree’s cousin. says he welcomes changes in police policy. His cousin, 17-year-old Yasmin Acree, has been missing nearly two years, and he has criticized police efforts in that case as well as other missing juveniles.
“I don’t know how the Chicago police department top brass could be comfortable with the current policies that don’t protect children like my cousin, because she could possibly be alive today if there were policies in place,” said Rev. Acree.
In the meantime, the superintendent says he has a little bit of an update on the Conner murder investigation. He says that they do have some good leads. However, at this point, no one is in custody.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are 16 black children missing for the year 2009 from Chicago. There are 29 missing total (from Chicago) listed on the site, and 57 total from Illinois. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more alerts like this in the next week. Kudos to the CPD for stepping up, but it might be too late for some. This should’ve been implemented from the get go.