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.
Find Our Missing told you earlier this week about the case of Brandon Jordan, a highly functioning autistic man who went missing in Los Angeles. Jordan, 20, is the son of Houston rapper Scarface who had not been seen since he stormed out of his home on Jan. 29.
“He just got agitated, didn’t want to talk about it no more, and just stormed out of the house with nothing,” Jordan’s mother, Melissa Lollis, told ABC News.
The good news is that police say Jordan was found unharmed Thursday morning.
When his son went missing, Scarface sent out a tweet telling his son to call his mother. After news broke that his son was found, Scarface sent out additional tweets:
“Thanks to everybody responsible for putting the word out my son is safe,” wrote Scarface, whose real name is Brad Terrence Jordan.
“Alive and Well! God is worthy of all praises,” he said in a subsequent message.
Jordan’s case, along with that of Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old Queens, N.Y. boy who ran off from his school and whose remains were found in the East River, highlight the importance of Avonte’s Law, which will fund voluntary tracking devices for autistic children and others who wander off.
The group Autism Speaks told CBS News there have been 42 autism wandering deaths since 2011.
“The tracking devices are one important step,” said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. “We need a full comprehensive strategy to address the issue of wandering.”
The Justice Department agreed to fund the initiative which Sen. Charles Schumer, who sponsored the legislation, says is an ambitious step toward helping young autistic people.
“It will help put parents at ease, save precious lives,” said Schumer. “Avonte’s Law will allow his memory to live on while helping to prevent more children with autism from going missing.”