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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.


Asha degree missingAsha Jaquilla Degree

Case Type: Endangered
DOB: August 5, 1990
Missing Date: February 14, 2000
Age Now: 21
Missing City: Shelby
Missing State: North Carolina
Gender: Female
Race: Black
Complexion: Dark
Height: 4’6″
Weight: 60
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

RELATED: Good News! Missing Mentally Disabled Florida Woman Found Safe

Location Last Seen: Asha Jaquilla Degree has been missing from her home in Shelby, North Carolina, since February 14, 2000. Asha’s father last saw her at approximately 2:30 a.m. while she was asleep in her bedroom. By dawn, her parents were unable to locate her anywhere in the house.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Asha’s father last saw her at approximately 2:30 a.m. while she was asleep in her bedroom. By dawn, her parents were unable to locate her anywhere in the house. Asha Degree’s black book bag and her black pocketbook with Tweety Bird on it were also missing from her room. However, these items were located a few months later.

Motorists reportedly saw the young girl at 4 a.m. walking along a highway.  Despite the discovery of some of Degree’s clothes and other small breaks in the case, the girl remains unaccounted for. Police believe Degree left the home on her own accord but then ran in to trouble while outside.

Degree’s mother said she’ll never give up hope that her daughter will be found.

“We still miss her and still looking forward to seeing her one day,” her mother, Iquilla Degree, told News 14 North Carolina.

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: None

If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Asha Jaquilla Degree, please contact the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office at
(704) 484-4822 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.

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