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 missing persons and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing.
Maryland State Police say the body of missing Baltimore stylist Damon Jennings, 22, was found Thursday alongside a road in Somerset County, Md., about 45 minutes from Baltimore.
Jennings was last seen leaving a Baltimore County restaurant at 11 p.m. on Oct. 16. At around 2 a.m., Jennings’ uncle texted to ask when his nephew was coming home.
The family received a text from Jennings’ phone that said: “I’m heading home,” Jennings’ mother Angela Braxton told NewsOne.
Instead, Jennings’ body was found in a ditch two weeks after he was last seen by a person walking in the area.
“Jennings’ body was found shortly before 2 p.m. yesterday by a person walking along Backbone Road near Seatick Road, in Eden, Md. Responding troopers observed trauma on the man’s body and the State Police Homicide Unit was called to conduct an investigation,” Maryland State Police said in a statement.
Jennings’ clothed body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine cause of death.
Donna Williams, a family friend, said they were numb.
“Damon’s parents, family and friends are devastated,” Williams told NewsOne.
Jennings was an up-and-coming stylist who was well-known in Baltimore, said Braxton. Her son was working on plans for a new project with a photographer and web designer the night he went missing. Becoming a stylist was always his dream. “That was his passion. He was always into clothing,” said Braxton. The mother said her son was never in trouble and always remained in contact with family and friends regarding his whereabouts. That’s why the family knew something was wrong when Jennings did not return home.
Homicide investigators from the State Police were working overnight at the scene with detectives from the Baltimore Police Department to gather clues and evidence.
Anyone with information about the disappearance or death of Damon Jennings may contact Maryland State Police at (443) 260-3700 or the Baltimore Police Department at 410-276-8888.
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