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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 to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.


 Phoenix Coldon

Case Type: Endangered

Date of Birth: May 23, 1988

Missing Date: December 18, 2011

Age Now: 24

Missing City: St. Louis

Missing State: Missouri

Case Number: 11-76537

Gender: Female

Race: Black

Complexion: Medium

Height: 5’6″

Weight: 125

Hair Color: Brown

Hair Length: Shoulder Length

Eye Color: Brown

Wear Glasses or Contacts: Yes

Location Last Seen: Phoenix was last seen leaving her driveway in her vehicle, a 1998 4-door Chevrolet Blazer with tinted windows. The car has Missouri license plate number KE2S6V.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. On the day she went missing, Coldon’s car was found at the intersection of 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue in East St. Louis.

The car’s engine was running.

It’s been a little over a year since Coldon went missing, but her parents refuse to give up the search for her. They spent $50,000 on a private investigator and faced having their house going in to foreclosure.

“It’s just a house. It’s not a home anymore because she is not here,” her mother Goldia Coldon told NewsOne in an interview.

And there have been cruel hoaxes. A reported sighting in Texas turned out to be a complete fabrication.

But Coldon’s parents, Lawrence and Goldia Coldon, say they recently received some encouraging news from their private investigator but are unable to share details because of the ongoing investigation.

“There have been hopeful developments in the case that she will be found alive and well,” said Goldia. “I have always believed that Phoenix is alive and well.”

Help from generous donors who read about their story made it possible for the Coldons to work with their bank and avoid foreclosure by selling their house in a short sale. But that hasn’t phased them either. The pair plan to find a new place to live and continue their search for Phoenix.

“It was a conscious decision on our part. We had to find out if someone had Phoenix,” said Goldia.

The pair do not believe their daughter ran off on her own, because she left behind her laptop and iPad. Inside her car, her designer glasses and designer purse were also left behind.

“Phoenix did not leave here with the intention of not coming back,” said Goldia.

Phoenix’s case has a lot of lessons for parents. It wasn’t until after she went missing that her parents say they learned some things about the people her daughter was hanging out with that they didn’t like.

“She was caught up in making poor choices as the people around her. These people we found out were not part of Phoenix’s personality. She was trying to fit in. She was a square and they were circles and she was trying to fit in,” added the Mother.

“Some of the people she started hanging out with were of dubious means and didn’t have the same faith values that she was raised with,” said Lawrence. “They did not have the same values of wanting to be truly productive citizens.”

Weeks before going missing, Phoenix came to her mom and told her she wanted to get counseling.

“She said, ‘Mom, I need counseling,’ and I said, I am so glad to hear that.”

Unfortunately, Phoenix never made it to a counselor.

Now her parents remember the good times with their daughter to keep them motivated.

“What we do on a daily basis is remember our daughter in a positive way,” said Lawrence. “There are lots of beautiful moments and we remember the good times we had with Phoenix.”

Last Seen Wearing: Gray sweatpants (UMSL or Linderwood printed vertically down one pant leg), dark hoodie (black or blue), and tennis shoes.

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Pierced ears.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Phoenix Coldon can call St. Louis Police at (314) 615-8630, Crimestoppers at (866) 371-8477 or contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.