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.
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Houston Police are searching for 11-month old Achilles Lambert after his mother was found dead Monday, her body stuffed into a refrigerator.
Police believe the child was taken by his father, Patrick Lambert, 38, who is also a person of interest in the stabbing death of his estranged wife and Achilles’ mother, Anastacia Oaikhena-Lambert, 27 (pictured right).
On Monday, police issued an Amber Alert for Achilles, who has likely been taken out of the state by his father, according to law enforcement authorities.
“You have a missing child with the circumstances of the case and an Amber Alert issued. That speaks more than anything to the urgency around this case and the strong desire to solve it,” Kese Smith, public information officer for the Houston Police Department, told NewsOne in an interview.
It’s unclear how long Oaikhena-Lambert’s body had been left to decompose in the refrigerator. Neighbors said there was not much activity in the apartment for the last several weeks, but they began to smell a decomposing body.
The odor became apparent weeks ago and her body was already in an advanced state of decomposition after a maintenance man at the complex made the discovery.
“I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even think anybody lived there because I didn’t see no activity or anything come in and out that house,” Nicole Barnes, a neighbor who complained of the smell, told NBC. “I just told the maintenance, the people in the office, that something just smells dead. I really felt bad that nobody came and checked on her. I’m just praying that the baby is found safe.”
Police are unsure of what type of vehicle Patrick Lambert is driving. KHOU reports that neighbors said he talked about leaving the state just a few weeks ago.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, I’m thinking Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia maybe,'” a neighbor who didn’t want to give his name told KHOU. “He was like, ‘Yeah, Philadelphia’s a good place to go.'”
While Oaikhena-Lambert was friendly and engaging, neighbors say her husband was the exact opposite.
“Strange look in his eyes, he never spoke,” Chantilly Jefferson told the station. “Speak to her, he was like, ‘Don’t speak to my wife.'”
The maintenance man who found the body said the floor was filled with blood. According to police, Oaikhena-Lambert called 911 about three months ago to report that her husband had threatened her with a knife.
Police responded to the apartment twice but no charges were filed in the incident.
Oaikhena-Lambert’s family in Nigeria has been informed of her murder.
Smith says there are currently no updates in the case but there is immense interest in bringing Achilles home safe and sound. He says the agency was able to issue an updated Amber Alert because a friend of Oaikhena-Lambert’s came forward with very recent photos of Achilles. Smith is encouraging anyone with information in the case to step forward.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Achilles Lambert or his father Patrick Lambert may contact Houston Police at 713-308-3600 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.