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.
Case Type: Endangered
DOB: Aug. 16, 1949
Missing Date: September 20, 2015
Age Now: 66
Missing City: Memphis
Missing State: Tennessee
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Medium
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: At her home in the 7000 block of Pinnacle Oaks Drive.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Jeffrey Lusk said he left his home to spend the night on his boat in Parsons, Tennessee. On the way down, he spoke to his wife twice, including once before getting on his boat because the reception is bad out on the water.
“Everything seemed okay. It was a normal conversation,” Lusk told NewsOne in an interview.
His wife had mentioned that she might go shopping for their new grandson who had been born in September.
“I got home and her cell phone was plugged into the wall and the house phone was unplugged. Everything was locked up and nothing was out of place. The car was gone,” Lusk said. ‘I said: ‘Maybe she’s still out shopping.'”
His wife hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
“I’m still in the dark. There’s no leads anywhere,” said Lusk. There’s been no activity on any of her financial accounts.
A cousin drove by a nearby Walgreen’s and spotted Walker-Lusk’s car. To just disappear is completely out of character for the woman Lusk has known since 1973 and has been married to since 1979.
Lusk said he met his wife after he returned from serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War. They both worked at the railroad company Burlington.
“I had a friend that I worked with and his girlfriend had a friend,” Lusk said describing how he met his longtime wife.
“She’s just a very nice person–intelligent and outgoing. She’s a perfectionist who made ceramic dolls from scratch,” Lusk said.
The pair shared several children between them and have many grandchildren. They both recently retired and spent time traveling to visit their children and grandchildren in other states.
“We were just enjoying our retirement and the fruits of our labor,” Lusk said. The recent holidays have been difficult.
“Not having her around is terrible. There’s no holidays. There’s nothing without her,” Lusk said. “I don’t pay attention to any of that anymore.”
But the family hasn’t given up hope just yet. They’ve conducted searches with dozens of volunteers. Lusk has hired a private investigator and the family is offering a reward for information that leads to her recovery.
“I would just say come home baby,” Lusk said.
Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts or circumstances of disappearance of Deborah Walker–Lusk may contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department at (901) 222-5600 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.