Within the wake of Carlee Russell, these lacking Black girls matter

Final week, a 15-year-old Black woman named Janiya Duffie went lacking in Georgia. She was final noticed on a avenue named Tranquility Loop within the city of Lovejoy on July 19. She was sporting blue shorts and a purple jacket. She is 5-foot-7; she weighs about 140 kilos. If you recognize something of her disappearance or whereabouts, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Workplace is ready on your name.

The day earlier than Janiya Duffie disappeared, a Black girl in Mississippi named Latasha Coleman, 46, was seen on the 100 block of Hidden Valley Lane in Hinds County and has not been seen since. She is believed to have been in her automobile, a 2002 grey Acura, and she or he has a medical situation that may impair her judgment.

All this week, I’ve been studying essays about Carlethia “Carlee” Russell. Russell, the Alabama nursing pupil who known as 911 on July 13 to say she’d noticed a toddler strolling alongside the freeway. Russell, whose automobile and cellphone had been discovered deserted on the scene, whose disappearance prompted large media consideration — this was an eerie case, a terrifying case — till she returned residence just a few days later with a narrative that made little sense. She admitted on Monday that the entire thing had been a hoax. In a press release offered by her lawyer, she requested for the general public’s forgiveness.

All this week, I’ve been requested, as a columnist who writes about girls, whether or not I’ve any ideas on a lacking girl like Carlee Russell. Whether or not her case is infuriating or tragic. What it means.

These are my ideas about Carlee Russell:

Janiya and Latasha disappeared across the identical time, and we must always know their names.

Right here is one other thought of Carlee Russell:

In September 2016, 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs informed her mom, Toni, that she was going to spend the evening with pals in Richmond. Toni was making an attempt to let her youngest daughter have some independence and tried to not grill her concerning the particulars. The subsequent day, Toni was at work when Keeshae’s brother known as and mentioned his sister had missed their deliberate breakfast date.

Toni informed me that Keeshae had been a mama’s woman. She and Keeshae used to joke that Keeshae was by no means going to maneuver out; she was going to grow to be an outdated girl nonetheless residing at residence. Now it has been practically seven years since Keeshae slept in her mattress, “and I simply need closure,” Toni mentioned. No matter occurred to Keeshae, the not understanding was the insufferable half.

Jessica Abba has been lacking from Laurel, Md., since June 2022, in accordance with the database of the Black & Missing Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to publicizing the disappearances of individuals of colour. Kierra Coles has been lacking from Chicago since October 2018, when police discovered her automobile together with her packed lunch nonetheless inside; she was about three months pregnant. Samatha Baremore has been lacking from Winston-Salem, N.C., since April 2004, when she was seen leaving her job at a nightclub and getting right into a taxi. She has a tattoo on her thigh for her deceased father. Her pals typically known as her “Pinky.”

Black & Lacking was based as a result of Black girls disappear day-after-day and since most of them don’t get the eye given to Carlee Russell. As a result of Black individuals make up about 14 p.c of the inhabitants, in accordance with the newest census knowledge — however, in accordance with 2022 FBI knowledge, signify a couple of third of all lacking individuals. The muse’s co-founder, Natalie Wilson, informed me on Tuesday that she and her sister-in-law began the group after the 2 of them observed how the 2004 disappearance of Tamika Huston in Spartanburg, S.C., obtained little consideration, however the disappearance of Jennifer Wilbanks (who was White and whose disappearance was later revealed as a hoax) grew to become an obsession on nationwide information.

The circumstances behind Carlee Russell’s faked disappearance had been so horrifying, so unlikely, that it appears straightforward to know why her case could have captured consideration in the way in which it did. However all the instances are horrifying. Going again years and a long time, all the instances of lacking Black girls are horrifying.

Consider these girls as a substitute. Study these names as a substitute.

Sonya Tukes, who received a mysterious name from a pay telephone in 2004 after which disappeared in a single day. Teeara Black, who left for her father’s home in Philadelphia in 2015 however by no means arrived.

Tiffany Foster: “We now have a household group chat, and when no person had heard from Tiffany in two days, we knew one thing was mistaken,” Kimberly Bryan informed me this week about her sister, whose deserted automobile was discovered 30 miles from her Georgia residence, purse and keys nonetheless inside, in 2021. Her fiancé was later charged with shifting the car however was not arrested for her disappearance, which stays unsolved.

Felicia Cochran: “I solely received to expertise her for 10 years,” her daughter Brandi Martin informed me this week.

Felicia has been lacking since 1992. Greater than three a long time. Felicia Cochran had been lacking for 5 years earlier than Carlee Russell was even born, earlier than the hoax case of 1 non-missing girl took away consideration that ought to have been paid to 1000’s of precise lacking girls.

Brandi remembers her mother as being quiet and delicate and loving to learn. A girl who had dreamed of a job involving journey, however who had as a substitute accepted a job managing a Hardee’s restaurant, so she might be current for her youngsters.

She was final seen exterior of a magnificence salon in Pell Metropolis, Ala. Then her deserted automobile was discovered burned by the aspect of the street.

Felicia can be practically 60 years outdated if she remains to be alive. Brandi mentioned she thinks of her mom day-after-day. She nonetheless desires to know what occurred.

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