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.
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.
Stewart Banks Jr.
Case Type: Endangered
Missing Date: February 21, 2014
Age Now: 57
Missing City: Baltimore
Missing State: Maryland
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Balding
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: Yes
Location Last Seen: Banks, a clerk for the Office of Public Defender for almost 30 years, was last captured on video outside Greenmount Loan and Jewelry in the 3100 block of Greenmount Avenue in northeast Baltimore.
Circumstances of Disappearance: The details surrounding Banks’ disappearance remain murky. After being seen leaving his home on East University Parkway, Banks was captured on video outside of the loan and jewelry store on Greenmount Avenue.
Banks’ family claims he was last seen with his son-in-law who they allege told family members that he last saw Banks at a Megabus station. The family believes the pair may have been planning a trip to the New York City area, Banks’ daughter Mary Banks told NewsOne.
But police say there is no hard evidence to support that assertion. Police interviewed Banks’ son-in-law who was detained in Alabama on an unrelated case but did not gather much information.
“We don’t have any information about Mr. Banks boarding a Megabus,” Baltimore police Capt. Ronda McCoy told WBAL TV in June. “We did go down and try to interview him; however, we have not gathered any additional information,” McCoy added.
Police also said in June that they were unsure if foul play was involved in Banks’ disappearance.
“We look at all these cases and there’s a possibility for any of the missing persons to have met with foul play. Right now, what we can tell you is we don’t have probable cause to say that there was some foul play,” McCoy told WBAL TV.
Not knowing has been the difficult part, said Mary Banks.
“Since we have not received much information or answers from law enforcement, no one knows what to think,” said Mary.
Mary described her father as a “homebody and family-oriented.”
“He enjoyed staying in the house, reading his newspaper, and watching movies at home. I would say he is a dependable, responsible person who likes to make sure things are running smoothly,” Mary said, adding that her father has been married to her mother for 30 years and has never disappeared in the past.
“We do not know if he is alive or dead. It is also frustrating that it is going on seven months, and we still have a lot of unanswered questions that no one seems to be able to answer,” said Mary.
Keeping up hope is difficult because she knows her dad, said Mary.
“My father is a very reliable person. I could not see him intentionally not getting in touch with family members,” she said.
Last Seen Wearing: Unknown
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown
Anyone with information regarding the circumstances of disappearance about Stewart Banks, Jr. may contact Baltimore Police Department detectives at (443) 984-7385 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.