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.
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Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: January 1, 2012
Missing Date: July 10, 2013
Age Now: 1
Missing City: Oakland
Missing State: Calif.
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Medium
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: John Anthony Webb, 49, Father of missing 21-month-old Daphne Viola Webb, lives on Greenridge Drive. Webb said his daughter disappeared when he left her in his black Ford SUV with an elderly relative and went into Gazzali’s Supermarket at 78th and International Boulevard around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Circumstances of Disappearance: The case has been complicated from the beginning.
Webb left his daughter in an unlocked SUV with his 87-year-old mother who has dementia, according to authorities, while he went in to a grocery store.
When he returned, “the car seat was pulled over and the back door was open. My mom’s purse was gone,” said Webb.
After Webb told police the circumstances surrounding the disappearance, he was charged with suspicion of felony child endangerment because he left the child with his mother despite her condition.
However, on the day he was due in court, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Webb and he was released from custody.
“My daughter’s missing, and I have to live with that,” Webb said after being released from jail. “Even though I’m out of jail, I’m still not free. I can’t really sleep.”
Oakland Police say Webb is not a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance.
KGO-TV 7 in San Francisco also reported that court documents show that Daphne’s mother faced misdemeanor child endangerment charges before her daughter went missing. The station reports:
Kiana Davis-Webb, 31, also known as Kiana Janelle Davis, was arrested Feb. 18th, after she admitted to police that she had consumed Vicodin and alcohol before operating a car with Daphne in the back seat, according to records. Oakland police Officer Alonzo Weatherly said in a report filed in court that a pedestrian called police “out of concern” for Daphne, after seeing Davis-Webb passed out behind the wheel of her car with the child inside.
Weatherly said Davis-Webb “admitted taking Vicodin/alcohol prior to driving” and police recovered Vicodin from her purse when they searched her. Davis-Webb “apparently didn’t have a prescription for it,” Weatherly said. The Mother pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child endangerment and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance April 10th. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carol Brosnahan placed her on three years’ probation, issued a protective order mandating that she do no harm to Daphne, referred her to a domestic violence/anger management program, and ordered her to attend 26 parenting classes. Brosnahan also ordered Davis-Webb to destroy all her Vicodin and pay a $350 fine.
Webb was awarded custody of his daughter seven months ago. Daphne lived with her father and grandmother.
Davis-Webb did not address the incident at a press conference last month but did discuss the pain she was suffering because her daughter was missing.
“You have no idea how heart breaking this is. How devastating it is,” said Davis-Webb. “There’s no way to express how you feel when your child is missing and you don’t know where they are and you can’t find them and you can’t hug them.”
Both parents are cooperating in the investigation. Police have also asked for people other than his mother who may have seen Webb with his daughter in the days and hours before her disappearance to contact them.
Webb said he is unaware of who might have seen him with his daughter.
“I’ don’t know who saw me to tell you the truth. But I’m a homebody. Daphne is at home, my mom is at home,” said Davis.
Last Seen Wearing: Orange pajamas with pink hearts.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Missing part of one ear.
Suspect: Police are searching for a Black or Hispanic woman in her 30s with long hair and blue jeans who was seen leaving the area of the supermarket with a girl that was similar to descriptions of Daphne.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Daphne Viola Webb should contact Oakland police at (510) 238-3641 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line. Daphne’s family has also set up a website to provide updates and receive tips on the case.