Another reported tragedy involving a Black teen has struck California’s Bay Area after the July killing of Nia Wilson. Police have opened a homicide investigation and arrested a suspect in the death of a missing 18-year-old high school graduate whose body turned up in San Leandro on Monday.
Initially, authorities ruled Mariah Davis‘ death as suspicious, KNTV, an NBC-owned television station, reported. Cops later arrested Anthony Pimentel, who is believed to be Davis’ ex-boyfriend, on suspicion of homicide after the young girl’s body was found in Chabot Park. She had been reported missing last week.
Davis family was grieving and seeking answers like many other families who have received tragic news after filing missing person reports for their loved ones.
The number of reported missing children in California has grown since 2015, according to the California Department of Justice. The state reported 88,028 children missing last year, up from 84,694 in 2016 and 83,144 in 2015.
Of those numbers, the majority of children were said to be runaways, as opposed to being victims of abductions, catastrophes or suspicious circumstances. The state also had more girls, not boys, who have disappeared, according to reports. Last year, 47,485 girls were reported missing, as opposed to 40,543 boys.
Missing children statistics have undoubtedly set off alarms in states across the country, from California to Illinois, in recent years. The disappearances of several African-American young women in Chicago sparked panic, protest and pain over the summer. Fifteen-year-old Sadaria Davis and 26-year-old Shantieya Smith were found dead. Reports prompted questions about whether all of the young women’s disappearances were related but police never confirmed that speculation. Authorities did ask for the community’s help with the cases.
Several deaths in missing person cases go unsolved in many cities. With Davis’ death, police were holding Pimentel in jail without bail. His arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday.