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.
Arthur Neal may have gotten a big break when he purportedly won $20,000 in the lottery. But shortly afterward, the sprightly 86-year-old who still did masonry work, disappeared.
The door to Neal’s home was ajar and he had not been in contact with his family in spite of it being the holiday season.
“We just don’t know what happened,” Arthur’s granddaughter Christina Hall told NewsOne in an interview. “Nobody knows for sure what happened. He always has his phone. He always contacts me.”
Earlier this month, Neal’s body was found frozen solid in the basement of an abandoned house in Northwest Detroit.
Now police believe they know what happened to Neal. Quanzell Alonzo Hood, 20, of Detroit (pictured below at left) was charged with first degree murder and felony murder in Neal’s death, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police allege that Hood brutally beat Neal to death because of his lottery winnings.
“It is alleged that Hood knew the victim, believed the victim was in possession of a sum of money, and beat the victim to death during the larceny or attempted larceny of that money,” said a statement from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
An autopsy revealed that Neal’s body also had several stab wounds.
The strange part of the case is that it’s still unclear if Neal had actually won the lottery.
Police are still trying to determine if Neal claimed a winning lottery ticket.
“Nobody knows for sure that its true. Police don’t have proof of him winning the lottery,” Hall told NewsOne.
The news is even more sad for Hall and her family because she had recently reconnected with her grandfather.
“We just got back in contact with him the past few years,” said Hall. “We were getting closer.”