Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form. “Find Our Missing” airs on TV One on Wednesdays.
Case Type: Endangered
DOB: January 1, 1995
Missing Date: February 1, 2012
Age Now: 17
Missing City: Miramar
Missing State: Florida
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Leiba was last seen getting off her school bus on Wednesday afternoon.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Leiba usually takes the bus from South Broward High School to Annabel C. Perry Elementary School, where she is met by a relative or makes the 25 minute walk home by herself. According to reports, Leiba was dropped off near the 6800 block of Southwest 34th Street on Wednesday. The teen phoned her mother for a ride, but her mother could not leave work and pick her up immediately. Leiba, who planned on attending college, made the decision to walk home alone. She never made it.
Leiba’s mother, Sharon, says she called her daughter’s cell phone, when she became worried and her daughter answered.
“She said, ‘I’m on the way,'” Sharon said. “Then there was a muffled sound and the phone went dead…. It’s been going straight to voice mail ever since.”
Sharon believes her daughter was abducted. Leiba’s parents say that a man in a car stalked her daughter several times last year as she walked home from school. “He trailed behind her and would ask for her name, if she wanted a ride,” Sharon told the Sun-Sentinel.
The family engaged a male friend to walk Leiba home but now don’t know who to trust. Leiba’s father, Michael, is struggling with his daughter’s disappearance.
I can’t sleep!” said her father. “Because I know she’s out there and I can’t sleep. And I’m trying to lie down and I hear screaming in my head. And I can hear her screaming in my head.”
Police don’t know if the family’s stalking concerns have anything to do with Leiba’s disappearance. Police and volunteers have canvassed the area near Leiba’s last cell phone transmission.
“I think she was abducted,” Sharon said to the the Sun-Sentinel.. “My daughter is not a runaway.”
Last Seen Wearing: A red Abercrombie & Fitch short-sleeve shirt and blue jeans
If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Naketa Leiba, please contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s tip Line.