All Articles Tagged "black and missing"

“I Was Living A Life I Thought I Should Be Living Instead Of Living The Life I Want” Nayla Kidd Explains Why She Ran Away

June 1st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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A few weeks ago, we wrote about the return of Nayla Kidd. You may remember Kidd was the sophomore at Columbia University who went missing. After two weeks, detectives found her living in an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At the time, the only explanation we had for her disappearance came from an officer who said that Nayla “wanted to get away from it all…She didn’t want to be at school anymore.”

But in a recent article in the New York Post, Nayla offered up her own explanation about why she had to leave school.

She corroborated most of the information detectives had already discovered saying she skipped her final exams, changed her bank account, got a second phone and deleted her Facebook page.

She explained, “I needed to break from my old life of high pressure and unreasonable expectations.”

Nyla describes that growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, she was always a stellar student. So much so that when the city began to bore her, she insisted that her mother allow her to attend Thacer, a highly competitive boarding school in Ojai, California. Though her mother didn’t want her to move so far away, she supported the decision.

Kidd was a star pupil whose homework was often used as an example to other students. So it might not have come as much of a surprised when she was accepted at Columbia.

Kidd writes, “Because it’s such a prestigious school, it made me feel like I had proven to myself, and everyone around me, that I made it.”

But the university didn’t live up to her expectations.

“I had always fantasized about living in New York, but the first day I moved it was also my birthday. I felt really alienated and alone and didn’t find the Columbia students very welcoming. During my freshman year, I quickly went from star student to slacker. School just wasn’t interesting to me anymore because I didn’t have any close connections with my teachers. I came from a small, tight-knit community at Thacher, and at ­Columbia I was lucky if a teacher talked to me. I’m a social learner and Columbia didn’t provide me that opportunity. I felt like I had to choose between living a life I was passionate about and doing well in school. Even though I was wired to be a good student, I didn’t feel ­inspired. I got through the year, getting B’s and C’s, but I didn’t care. I was just happy the summer had arrived.”

But the summer didn’t revitalize her passion for school. When classes began again in September, Kidd was feeling even worse.

“I had been waking up every day for months with a feeling of dread and doom. I couldn’t keep putting my all into something I cared nothing about. On a rainy day in early April, I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down hysterically crying on campus while I was trying to study for a test in Lerner Hall. Completely overwhelmed, I didn’t stop sobbing for all 10 blocks to my apartment on 124th Street and Broadway. At 7 a.m. the next morning, I shot up in bed and told myself, ‘I’m ­going to change this.’”

It was then that she started planning her escape, buying an olive-green notebook to document her plans. She knew, even then, that she wasn’t going to tell anyone.

From there she stopped attending classes and only showed up for her work-study position on campus. Eventually, she’d saved up enough money to move out.

When Nayla moved all of her belongings out of their shared apartment, taking multiple trips on the 1 and L trains, her roommates didn’t ask any questions.

In her new apartment, Nayla said she wanted to completely disconnect.

“I wanted the time to make sense of my situation alone and have the space to comprehend it. I felt like sharing would force me to explain something I hadn’t even figured out myself. It wasn’t normal to just quit school. But I never expected it to get so out of hand. I spent the next week or so completely focused on myself. I got to know my new roommates, took walks around the neighborhood and found my new favorite coffee shop a few blocks away. But the more time that passed, the more people tried to find me. I had given my new number to a few friends after I first left, but quickly stopped responding to them.”
As the days passed, Nayla said eventually her phone was ringing every 30 minutes with her friends trying to get in touch with her on the new number she’d given them. One of them had even shared the number with her mother, who was also calling. Mother’s Day passed and Nayla still didn’t reach out, unable to face her. Nayla said she never turned on the television but she did see the missing person fliers online.

Two weeks later, police knocked on her door. Detective Argiro told her they’d been looking for her nonstop for the past three days. After Nayla got ready, he took her to meet her mother at the precinct.

“We got to the Upper West Side station house, and my mom showed up shortly after. She looked tired, but to my surprise she was very calm. Without talking, we embraced each other tightly and she asked me, How are you doing?’ All the anxiety and guilt I was feeling washed away in that ­moment. ’I haven’t slept the last few days,’ she said to me. I couldn’t bring myself to say much. I just listened.’Trust me, honey, I understand. You don’t have to explain anything,’ she reassured me. I nodded and felt myself tearing up. ‘An investigator told me you might be stripping. Even if you’re a stripper, you’re gonna be the best stripper out there,” she said to me.

In another article with The Post, Nayla’s mother said, before her disappearance she and her daughter used to speak about twice a month. And when they finally were reunited, it was a bit awkward.

“How could she just cut me off like that? But I told her I love her and I don’t care what’s going on in her life, she should know she can always talk to me. I’m not angry, but I’m still recovering from such a traumatic experience.”

Nayla, on the other hand, has said she’s learned a lot.

“I realize now that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone else or myself. School isn’t for me, and I’m OK with that. There are a lot of different things I would like to work on and ­develop now. I want to make and produce music and work on my writing. I’m going to keep living in my new apartment and have no plans to go back to school again. I always told myself I needed to find gratification through academia, but now I want to find it on my own through the arts. I finally broke down because I was living a life I thought I should be living instead of living the life I want.”

You can read her full article here.

Missing Clark Atlanta Student Found In Illinois

May 21st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Clark Atlanta Student Found In Illinois

Source: WSBTV

Earlier today, we reported about Alexis Jones-Rhodes and how she went missing on her way to what her family thought was her graduation ceremony at Clark Atlanta University.

Well 11 Alive, has reported that Jones-Rhodes has been found in Illinois. They say there was no foul play involved in her disappearance.

Earlier reports showed that Jones-Rhodes was not listed on the official commencement list and had not purchased a cap and gown.

As many of us assumed, Jones-Rhodes likely didn’t want to tell her family members that she wasn’t graduating; and instead of facing the music, she just drove away from it.

Regardless of the reason Alexis felt the need to run away, we’re happy and I’m sure her parents and family members are happy to know she’s safe.

Clark Atlanta University Student Goes Missing On Her Way To Graduation

May 21st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Clark Atlanta University Student Goes Missing On Her Way To Graduation

Source: WSBTV

Graduation is usually a time of pride and celebration; but for the family of Alexis Jones-Rhodes, it’s a time of confusion and fear.

According to, the family of Jones-Rhodes says she went missing on Monday and is now making a public plea for her return. Jones-Rhodes was set to graduate on Monday from Clark Atlanta University, but they haven’t heard from her since.

Her mother, Nicole Johnson told the media, “I have no idea where my daughter is.”

She also took the time to make a plea to her daughter, “It’s taken a lot just to stand up here, so I just want to say AJ please, please, please come home.”

Jones-Rhodes was last seen when she left her family’s home on Monday morning, wearing her cap and gown. She was supposed to be heading to her graduation.

Her family knew something was wrong when she never walked across the stage. Later, they learned she never checked in.

A university representative told the Atlanta ABC affiliate that Jones-Rhodes’ name was not on the official commencement list and they have no record of her paying fees for a cap and gown.

But no matter the circumstances, her parents just want to know she’s ok.

“I’m hoping that if someone knows where she is, that they make her aware her parents just want to see her home safely,” her mother said.

Friends and family have been posting fliers with her picture on it around campus.

Sadly, this is not the first time the family has had reason to be concerned about Jones-Rhodes’ safety. Years ago, WSBTV was speaking with Jones-Rhodes and her mother after someone robbed her at gunpoint while she walked on campus.

Her mother, who remembers the experience well, once again urged her daughter to come home.

“If it’s in her power, Alexis if you can do it, just please come home.”

DeKalb County police are investigating her disappearance.

Family members say Alexis, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 127 pounds, was last seen driving a black Hyundai Sonata with Georgia tag BPC 6177.

Anyone in contact with Alexis or the vehicle is asked to notify special victims detectives at 770-724-7710 or 911.

Missing Black Girl: Virginia Teen May Be In Danger Of Sexual Exploitation

January 29th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Virginia Teen May Be In Danger Of Sexual Exploitation

Source: NBC 12

Police in Christianburg, Virginia, as well as members of the community, are trying to locate 16-year-old Aysia Monique Lewis. Not only is Aysia missing, police have confirmed that Lewis communicated with her suspected abductor online before she disappeared.

Aysia was last seen at Christianburg High School on Monday afternoon around 2:45 pm. Authorities believe she left school and went with Donald “Bruce” Quesenberry and the two are headed toward Florida.

Aysia, who is 5-foot-3 and approximately 160 pounds, was last seen wearing light blue jeans, a black fleece jacket, a navy shirt and brown moccasins.

The Roanoke Times reported that Quesenberry, 33, was seen driving a 2002 gold Nissan Altima with Illinois license plate V975074.

Authorities have confirmed that Quesenberry and Aysia chatted online but are unsure if that is where their relationship first began.

According to Tennessee court records, Quesenberry was charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of raping a child in 2004.

He was later acquitted and his record expunged.

Police believe Aysia willingly ran away with Quesenberry after he traveled from his home in Normal, Illinois to meet her in Virginia.

The State Police issued an endangered child media alert on Wednesday stating that Aysia might be in danger of sexual exploitation. Though no one has heard from either Quesenberry or Aysia, an Amber Alert has not been issued.

Authorities said Aysia is qualified as an endangered missing person because of her age and the circumstances of her disappearance.

Quesenberry is currently charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Aysia’s parents, Brandon Lewis and Teneara Dial, released this statement to the Christianburg police.

“Aysia, we love you!! We are worried about you! We need to know that you are ok! Please come home. Call us, text us, Facebook us. Get in touch with us however you can. We will come get you no matter what, no matter where, whatever time, it doesn’t matter. Unique and Eric miss you. Unique wants to know where you are and when you are coming home.”

They also pleaded with Quesenberry to drop Aysia off somewhere safe.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Aysia’s father asked her classmates to come forward if they have any information about her disappearance. And he added:

“Even if you don’t know anything, prayer is a strong thing, we need that.”

If you or someone you know has information about Aysia or her disappearance, you can contact the Christiansburg Police Department at 540-382-3131 or the Virginia State Police at 800-822-4453 (1-800-VA-CHILD)

Monday’s Madame(s): Derrica And Natalie Wilson, Founders Of Black And Missing Foundation

August 19th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Monday’s Madame is a new column on MadameNoire that highlights inspirational women who are doing great things in black communities around the world. If you would like to submit an inspirational woman for consideration, please send her name, age, location, photo, and a blurb about the work she’s doing to

Monday's Madame(s): Derrica Wilson And Natalie Wilson, Founders Of Black And Missing Foundation

Monday’s Madame(s): Derrica Wilson And Natalie Wilson

Why they inspire us: Derrica Wilson and her sister-in-law, Natalie Wilson, are the founders of Black and Missing Foundation Inc. (BAMFI). BAMFI is an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to missing persons of color, providing vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends, and educating the community on personal safety.

Frustrated with the lack of concern for missing black girls such as Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old who vanished from her Spartanburg, SC, apartment in 2004, particularly against the backdrop of the media’s coverage of missing white girls like Natalee Holloway, Derrica and Natalie founded the Black and Missing Foundation in 2008. The goal of BAMFI is to serve as advocates for missing people of color, believing that awareness is key in finding our missing and providing much needed closure for their families.

On a daily basis, Derrica and Natalie receive calls from families across the nation asking for help in finding their missing loved ones. The pair works diligently on their behalf, interfacing with law enforcement agencies across the country, the FBI, national media outlets and the families of those missing to help close the attention gap.  Since the Black and Missing Foundation’s inception, Derrica and Natalie have helped locate or provide closure to the families of more than 125 missing people.

Follow them: @BAM_FI

Hide and Seek: “Missing” Bay Area Girl Found Under Grandmother’s Bed

June 4th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: KTVU

Usually, when we do a “black and missing” story, it doesn’t have a happy ending. Families and communities live without knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones for years on end. But fortunately, in this case, the story ends quite nicely.

4 year old Amieya Renee Stewart went missing during a family gathering in California. Police and relatives searched for the girl in the home and the surrounding neighborhood until midnight. They stopped at midnight because that’s when the little girl was found sleeping underneath her grandmother’s bed.

The girl had gone undetected by both family, police and police dogs because she had surrounded hereof with other items.

When Amieya’s mother, Christina Nance, spoke to the NBC Bay Area cameras she had this to say:

“I just want to tell everybody thank you. She means a lot to me. I’m sorry that she was in here. I feel like we looked for her really, really good and they had the dogs come in and everything. I’m sorry to put everybody through this, but I’m so happy she’s ok and that nothing bad happened to her.”

As Nance was interviewed, Amieya buried her bead in the crook of her mother’s neck. Later, camera crews recorded the reaction of Amieya’s family members learning that she had been found.

Amieya’s grandmother said knowing her granddaughter, she suspected that she was playing hide and seek all along. The police told her that they doubted that she’d be able to hide that long.

They were wrong but we’re certainly glad they devoted their full attention to help find this little one.

This whole story reminds me of what my sister, friends and I used to do when we weren’t ready to leave somebody’s house. We knew not to take it this far though. While Amieya just might have a promising career in espionage, we’re certainly hoping her mother takes this time to let her know the importance of coming when you’re called, even if you’ve found the best hiding place in the house.

Watch the family react to news that their family member had been found in the video on the next page.

Have You Seen Her? New Orleans School Teacher, Terrilyn Monette Still Missing After 2 Weeks

March 15th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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terrilyn monette

Terrilynn Monette, the talented New Orleans school teacher who was credited with improving her underperforming elementary school, has been missing for almost two weeks.

Monette, the 26 year old originally from California, was last seen on Saturday, March 2 when she was out with friends celebrating being nominated for “Teacher of the Year” for her district. Apparently, Monette was feeling like she’d had too much to drink and told her friends she was going to go sleep it off in her car parked nearby.

At around 4 am her friends saw that Monette was talking to a man near her car. By sunrise both she and her 2012 black Honda Accord were missing and her cell phone had stopped emitting a signal.
The man she was seen speaking with has been interviewed and the police have ruled him out as a suspect.

Unlike many of the other missing, black men and women, Monette’s story seems to be receiving a lot of media coverage.

More than 200 people, including members of Terrilyn’s family, her coworkers and volunteers have been searching for Monette along with the police.

Before some of you attempt to blame Monette’s disappearance on her “irresponsibility,” know that this could happen to any woman, whether she’d been drinking or not.

Recently, CNN aired a piece about Terrilyn.

If you have any information about Terrilyn Monette, please let someone know.

Tragedy: Missing Girl, Jade Morris Found Dead After Casino Stabbing

December 28th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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jade morris

Source: Las Vegas Police Department/AP Photo)

From Black Voices


The body of 10-year-old Jade Morris was found in a Nevada desert on Thursday, according to family members.

The discovery was made by a man walking his dog near an unfinished housing development in the northern stretches of the Las Vegas Valley, Las Vegas Metro Police said.

Family members told the Black and Missing Foundation that they visually identified the remains for police, who have not yet released a statement positively identifying the body.

Read the statement from the family and the rest of the story surrounding Jade’s disappearance and subsequent death at Black

Missing Teen Featured on ‘The View’ Found Hours After Broadcast

February 27th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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The View’s new crime segment “Missing Black Children” is serving it’s purpose of highlighting African American children who often disappear unnoticed. Last week, a missing New York City teen that was featured on the show was found just hours after the segment was broadcast.

On Friday, an anonymous viewer recognized 16-year-old Mishell DiAmonde Green who was profiled on the show and called in to the Black and Missing Foundation to report her location. The girl was later found at the Safe Horizon shelter for victims of violence in NYC that same day.

Mishell went missing on Sept. 8 when she was on her way to an after-school program in SoHo. According to her mother, Janell Johnson-Dash, “This was her first time going out alone where we weren’t going to pick her up, so I trusted her with a set of keys, because I trust her, and a 10 p.m. curfew. You’re 16, you can do this. She said, ‘Ma I promise I’ll be home on time.’ She gave my husband a hug and a kiss and we never saw her again,” she said on “The View.” The next morning she called the police to report her daughter missing.

“They told us, ‘Don’t worry about it, this type of stuff happens all the time with teenagers. We’re pretty sure she’ll show up.’ And my immediate response was, ‘You don’t know my baby. This is completely out of character. There’s no way in the world that she would just stay out.'”

Months went by with no leads as police classified Mishell as a runaway rather than a missing person. Thanks to “The View” the mother and daughter have been reunited.

“We thank all who lifted your hearts and voices in prayer, who posted reports, who told about her disappearance, who called us with suggestions, and who were there,” Green’s family said in a statement.”Thank you to ‘The View’ for providing a platform that gave Mishell’s story the media attention needed for her recovery.”

Mishell and her family are expected to appear on “The View” today to discuss her recovery and what happened when she went missing. But for the family, the most important thing is that “Mishell is safe and out of harm’s way.”

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Missing Black Woman Receives NO Media Coverage for 5 Months

January 18th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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When white women go missing, it’s a cause for national concern. The nation learns their names and vital information about their lives before they disappeared.

When a black woman goes missing, usually the local news covers the story.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for thirty-five-year-old Shandell McLeod of Georgia. McLeod had been missing for five months before the media started covering her absence.

Find out what information they do have on McLeod and what her family has to say about the lack of media coverage at

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