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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.

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Felicia Cochran missingIt was 20 years ago today that Felicia Cochran (pictured) asked her 10-year-old daughter, Brandi Nicole Martin, if she wanted to go to the beauty parlor with her.

RELATED: California’a Hassani Campbell Still Missing Three Years Later

Martin, now 30,  said no. It was the last time she would see her mother alive.

Cochran was last seen leaving her mother’s house in a gray 1987 Nissan Sentra. Twelve hours later, her car was found burned and abandoned. Two decades later, Martin still thinks about that day.

“Had I known that would be the last time I would see you my answer would have been unquestionably “YES!”  That beauty salon was the last place you were seen.  Twenty years ago today, your mother had you declared legally missing. You were only 26 years old,” Martin wrote in a letter to her mother that she shared with NewsOne.

That was the day my world changed; life became a difficult place for me to navigate, unfamiliar.  You were the love that was never and can ever be replaced.

Twenty years later, Cochran has a grandchild that she never got to meet. Martin still dreams of a mother and daughter relationship that ended way too early.

I wish I could ask you about your childhood, your college days, or what falling in love was like for you.  I wish I could tell you thank you for the sacrifices you made for me and being a great example of what a Mother is, Martin wrote in the heartbreaking letter.

This is what it’s like for people whose loved ones go missing. Cochran’s case remains unsolved and questions remain unanswered.

I may not have you on this earth, but I know I have you watching over me and protecting me in a way you could not do on this earth, and for this, I am grateful. But it still does not stop me from wondering, What was your final day like? What were your last words and how were you taken from us? But more importantly where are your remains so that you can be properly laid to rest and there is finally closure and we are all finally at peace,” Martin wrote.

Read the profile of Felicia Cochran below and look at the full text of Martin’s touching letter to her mother. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if someone you loved dearly vanished, this letter will help you understand. If you have any information about what happened to Felicia Cochran 20 years ago today, please contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.

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Felicia Cochran

Case Type: Endangered
DOB: August 10, 1965
Missing Date: June 11, 1992
Age Now: 46
Missing City: Pell City
Missing State: Alabama
Gender: Female
Race: Black
Complexion: Medium
Height: 5’3″
Weight: 135
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Medium
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: Yes

Location Last Seen: Cochran left her mother’s home at approximately 6 p.m., driving a gray 1987 Nissan Sentra.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Cochran’s vehicle was discovered abandoned and burned on an isolated road in Talladega County, Ala., less than 12 hours later. Cochran was estranged from her husband at the time of her disappearance. She has 3 children. Her case remains unsolved.

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Pierced ears and eye glasses.

If you have information regarding Felicia Cochran, please contact the  Pell City Police Department at 205-884-3333 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.

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Mom,

I remember the last time I saw you, you asked if I wanted to go with you to the beauty salon. I said, No. Had I known that would be the last time I would see you, my answer would have been unquestionably YES!  That beauty salon was the last place you were seen.

Twenty years ago today, your mother had you declared legally missing. You were only 26 years old. That was the day my world changed; life became a difficult place for me to navigate, unfamiliar.  You were the love that was never and can ever be replaced. I miss that Tonya and I can’t have those mother-daughter moments with you: shopping, us crawling in your bed telling you our life’s problems and you telling us everything is going to be OK, or simply calling to say, “I love you,” or asking, “How was your day today.”

I wish I could ask you about your childhood, your college days, or what falling in love was like for you.  I wish I could tell you thank you for the sacrifices you made for me and being a great example of what a Mother is.

I wish your only son, Quadarius, had a chance to get to know you and to experience your love and affection, which he desperately needs. Or my niece, your only grandchild, could meet you and see just how much she looks like you, and that your mother could stay in her role as a Grandmother and not have to rear two of her three grandchildren.

I wish your mother could continue to watch you blossom into a woman coming into your own, nurturing your children and following your dreams.

I wish my uncle could continue the bond that he once shared with you, but now shares with me.  I am sure you are looking down and can see that your brother takes very good care of your girl, as have all your brothers and sisters over the years. I may not have you on this earth, but I know I have you watching over me and protecting me in a way you could not do on this earth, and for this I am grateful. But it still does not stop me from wondering.

What was your final day like? What were your last words and how were you taken from us? But more importantly, where are your remains so that you can be properly laid to rest and there is finally closure and we are all finally at peace. Regardless if that day ever comes, you will ALWAYS be at the forefront of my mind and deeply rooted in my heart and I will live each and every day in an attempt to make you more proud of me than you were the day before. I love you and look forward to the day we are in each other’s presence again.

Love, Your Daughter,
Brandi Nicole Martin (Pictured above)

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