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.
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: January 1, 2006
Missing Date: July 7, 2013
Found Dead: July 9, 2013
Age Now: 7
Missing City: Washington
Missing State: D.C.
Weight: 60 lbs.
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Medium
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Kingsbury was last seen walking in an alley close to his home between 9 and 9:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of West Virginia Avenue, NE.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Michael was autistic. When he went missing, police began an extensive search of the area. One police officer searched a locked car a couple of apartment buildings away from where the boy lived but didn’t find anything. At about 5:50 p.m. Monday a detective checked the car again and saw Kingsbury’s body inside. NBC 4 Washington writes:
A police officer had looked in the locked car about 1:30 p.m. Sunday and did not see the body. Nor did at least two other officers — one working the midnight shift and one searching during the day Monday. Even the family said they looked inside of the car because Michael had once before hid inside of a parked car. Police had to break a window of the car to get in and recover Michael’s body. “We need to figure out when exactly [Michael] got in the car,” Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. “It’s too early to see if someone missed something.” The medical examiner found no signs of trauma to Michael’s body and couldn’t give an approximate time of death, police said, but there was obvious decomposition to the body.
Aftermath: The case has yet to be classified as a homicide but police have also not ruled out foul play. The Washington Post writes:
Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham…..said the vehicle bore no license plates. The owner of the car was not immediately identified. A police source said that investigators were talking with the owner. Newsham said it was not clear when the boy had entered the car, and he declined to say where in the vehicle the boy had been found. However, two police sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said the body was on the floor of a locked sedan.
Kingsbury’s mother has also said she was not happy with the way the police search was conducted. She felt the police spent more time questioning her family than doing intensive searching.
“They’re spending all their time interrogating my family,” Katrina Kingsbury told the Post. “They should be out looking for my son.”
Some of Kingsbury’s neighbors agreed. The Washington City Paper writes:
Trinidad resident Gaston McVea confronted Newsham, accusing him of not giving searchers enough authority to go into locked backyards. McVea said he passed the white car where Kingsbury was discovered several times during the search without seeing him.”That’s something that I have to sleep with and live with,” McVea says. “Because we were that close.”
Police have defended their handling of the case but have promised an internal review.