Daphne Philisia Jones*
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: July 16, 1976
Missing Date: Jan 03, 1999
Age Now: 37
Missing City: New Orleans
Missing State: Louisiana
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Short
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: At her apartment in New Orleans.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Daphne was a student at the University of New Orleans who had just moved from the dorms to an apartment after discovering that she was pregnant. She worked part-time at Brennan’s Restaurant and was supposed to work a 3 p.m. shift the day she went missing but never arrived for work.
Just six days after her disappearance, Daphne, who was two months pregnant, was scheduled to quit her job, leave school, and return home to Maryland to live with her mother while she prepared to welcome her new child. The plane ticket had already been purchased. Daphne’s family says she told them she was being pressured to end the pregnancy.
“She refused to have an abortion. She told her mother….and her mother told Daphne to come home so that she could take care of her,” Jones’ aunt Helena Smith told NewsOne in an interview.
Jones’ grandmother dropped her off at her apartment and was the last family member to see her alive. Smith said her mother had an “eerie feeling” when Daphne got out of the car.
“Something told her not to leave but she pulled off,” said Smith.
Jones never showed up for work. A cousin later received a call from Jones when she was supposed to be at work and Jones was upset. When Smith got the landlord to enter Jones’ apartment, things just didn’t seem right.
“When I went in, she had warmed up some food, the television was on, the iron was on, and it seemed like she left in a hurry,” said Smith.
The family believes there was foul play and that Jones is likely deceased.
“At this point, we just want to know what happened. I don’t think there is anything that can be done, but we just really want to know what happened to her that day,” Jones’ sister Danielle Jones-Rease said in an interview.
Jones’ mother became a tireless advocate for finding out what happened to her daughter. She even appeared on the Dr. Phil show during the time of the Chandra Levy‘s disappearance to highlight the discrepancy in coverage between Levy, who was White, and that of her daughter.
Sadly, Jones’ mother died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. Jones’ grandmother died in 2012 and her father also recently died.
Jones-Rease said her father kept a bank account open in his missing daughter’s name just in case. Jones’ grandmother was upset at being the last person to see her alive.
“If you ask me, it was the grief because she grieved heavily about never being able to solve this,” Smith said of her sister’s death. “My mom bared the grief of being the last family member to see her alive.”
Smith said she spoke with New Orleans Police a month ago and they are once again looking into the case. New Orleans Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Classmates at Jones’ high school in Washington, D.C., though, have started a scholarship fund in her name.
Smith said that her niece’s disappearance has taught her about the importance of family members maintaining open relationships with children once they become young adults.
“I wish I would have been more open with her in allowing her to be a young adult. You have to deal with young adults as young adults and be open to some things you may not necessarily like, but someone needs to know what’s going on,” said Smith.
All Jones-Rease and her brother want are some answers about what happened to their sister.
“All we know is that she vanished and there is nothing to hold to now,” she said. “We just want a final answer so we can put it to rest.”
Last Seen Wearing: Yellow pullover jacket, blue jean, and sneakers.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Tattoo of a Chinese symbol on her right shoulder.
If you have information regarding the disappearance of Daphne Philisia Jones, contact New Orleans Police at (504) 658-5300 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.
*In an effort to find a clearer photo, NewsOne put up the wrong photo of Daphne Philisa Jones. Our apologies.