I remember the headline on MSNBC’s homepage when I opened my web browser yesterday morning: “Baby Lisa’s mom: I was drunk when she vanished.” The article told the story of Lisa Irwin, the white Kansas City mother of a 10-month-old baby who went missing on Oct. 4.
Then today, as I casually searched for news on black women, I just happened to come across a couple of articles about two black girls who are missing. The pieces were small, ran on local news sites, black websites, or blogs. There has been no national attention, nothing that would make you stop and pay attention to these stories, or more importantly to one of these girls if you happened to come across them, because in all likelihood you probably wouldn’t even know they are missing.
Jhessye Shockley is a 5-year-old girl from Glendale, Arizona, has been missing for nearly a week. An Amber Alert for the girl was issued last Wednesday morning and canceled Friday, in accordance with standard Amber Alert procedures. So far the biggest break in the case seems to be a tip that came into police of a black female between 25 and 30 years old, about 120 pounds, with black hair in a bun and brown eyes, putting a child that matched Jhessye’s description in a vehicle. The woman was wearing a white tank top and blue jeans rolled up to mid-calf. The vehicle was a black 1998 to 2000 4-door Chevy Malibu.
And then there is 15-year-old Pittsburgh teen Michiko Hamilton who hasn’t been seen since visiting a friend Friday. Police say she was last contacted near the intersection of Frankstown Avenue and Overbrook Road in Penn Hills — no one has heard from her since.