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.
Kenneth Joseph and Lakeitha Joseph
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: January 1, 1980
Missing Date: Feb 18, 2014
Age Now: Kenneth, 34. Lakeitha, 29.
Missing City: Reserve
Missing State: Louisiana
Gender: Male and Female
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Kenneth: Short. Lakeitha: Medium.
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Kenneth and his wife Lakeitha are missing from their home.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Relatives reported the couple missing after finding their house on Homewood Place unlocked. There was no sign of the couple or the vehicle Kenneth Joseph borrowed from his sister. Relatives told authorities they have not been able to reach the couple on their cell phones. The van they are thought to have been driving has been found in suburban Atlanta.
The couple’s family began searching in the swamps along I 55 recently after receiving a tip that they had been spotted there according to the Times-Picayune. Police used helicopters, boats and all-terrain vehicles to conduct the search, along with people on foot.
It’s just scary, ” said Lakeitha’s mother Terry Hart.
“The family got a tip, and we’re taking it seriously,” Sheriff Mike Tregre told the paper.
Finding the van in good shape means there’s still hope, say police. They are in the process of searching the vehicle for clues about the couple’s disappearance.
“This case is solvable. All we need is a tip. Somebody needs to tell us something, that we don’t already know, to help solve this case,” said Tregre.
Family members say it’s unusual for the couple not to be in contact with anyone. They suspect foul play. Now, the family just wants answers.
“We want them home or we want their bodies,” said aunt Cheryl Joseph. “We’ve asked the Lord for strength to move on.”
Police say they will continue searching the area until they are satisfied.
“We’re leaving no stone unturned,” said Lt. Chip Wale. “Our focus is to search any area where a person can access it with a vehicle.”
Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph should contact St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 359-TIPS(8477) or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. You may also contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.