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.
New York University Law School graduate Landon Thomas was found safe about two hours outside of New York City Sunday, his mother Patricia Thomas told NewsOne.
“He was dehydrated and had lost a lot of weight, but he’s OK,” said a joyful Patricia Thomas, whose son was found in a state park near Poughkeepsie, New York.
Landon, 25, who was studying to take the bar exam so he could start a job at one of the city’s district attorney’s offices, vanished on April 27 as he and his roommate were preparing to move from their Harlem apartment.
Landon left behind his wallet and identification. When he had not returned by the next morning, his roommate called Landon’s family, who called the police.
The details of Landon’s disappearance or how he wound up where he was found are still unclear, said Patricia Thomas. But as a mother, she has her suspicions about what happened to her son.
“I think it was just stress. Everything came at him at once,” Patricia Thomas said about the stress of studying for the bar, moving, and the prospect of starting a new job.
“I think he went on a downward spiral because it can be tough when you come from a small town and go to a big city like New York,” she added.
Landon’s family is from Kalamazoo, Mich.
After he was found, local police took Landon to an area hospital, where he was treated for dehydration. Patricia Thomas said Landon was released to the custody of her eldest son, who is now bringing him back to Michigan.
Landon’s friends and family launched a search for him that saw Harlem plastered with missing persons fliers. They launched a Facebook page that had over 500 likes about the news of Landon being found. NYU Law School even got involved with the search effort.
“First, our family would sincerely like to thank everyone involved with the search for Landon Thomas whether the help was spiritual, financial, or just words of encouragement, we thank you all,” Landon’s brother Troy Gilleylen wrote on Facebook.
The intensity of the search said a lot about Landon, described as a “big teddy bear type” who made friends easily, said his mom.
“When I spoke to him, I just told him I love him and missed him and couldn’t wait to see him,” said Patricia Thomas. “There is just a sense of relief.”