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.
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.
ASHLEY PRITI PORTER
Case Type: Endangered DOB: April 2, 1987 Missing Date: April 19, 2009 Age Now: 25 Missing City: Gastonia Missing State: North Carolina Case Number: 2009-32846
Gender: Female Race: Black Complexion: Medium Height: 5’3″ Weight: 140 Hair Color: Black Hair Length: Shoulder Length Eye Color: Brown Wear Glasses or Contacts: Yes
Circumstances of Disappearance: Ashley apparently left through her bedroom window, possibly to speak with someone she didn’t want her family to see her with, her mother, Tanya Davis, said in 2010. She did not take any personal belongings with her and has not been seen or heard from since. Having no contact with her family is uncharacteristic. She could have possibly traveled out of state.
“It still just leaves us dumbfounded,” Davis told the Gaston Gazette. “People don’t just vanish.”
Davis described her daughter as someone who didn’t do drugs, didn’t run with a rough crowd, and was a light drinker. The family went to church the morning of the disappearance.
The night of Porter’s disappearance, her mother says her daughter did things that any young person might do, such as chatting on the Internet and phone with friends before visiting Davis’ home. Davis said goodnight to her daughter at about 10 p.m. before going to bed.
“Whatever the ending, it was good,” Davis said. “I said, Well, I’m getting ready to go to bed, and I got a smile from her.”
The next morning, Porter’s bedroom door was locked, when Davis wanted to get a coat from the closet. She had her husband open the locked door, and they saw that the screen had been removed from the window. Porter, a high school graduate who worked manufacturing jobs, left behind her purse, cell phone, and all of her clothes.
Not knowing what happened to her daughter has been the most difficult part, said Davis.
“I hope and I pray that she might just walk through the door,” Davis said. “That not knowing, it’s a hard thing. It really is.”
Last Seen Wearing: Black T-shirt with the words “Put A Ring On It,” jeans, gray sneakers, 14k gold necklace with the name “Priti,” and 14k gold necklace with heart pendant.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Porter has a mole in the middle of the forehead, a burn on her left hand between the thumb and forefinger, a tattoo on her buttocks, and pierced ears.
If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Ashley Priti Porter, please contact Gastonia Police at (704) 866-6879 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.