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Experts discuss alarming trend of missing Black women cases

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Conner Farrell (WHAS 11), Senait Gebregiorgis (WHAS 11)
February 19, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A south Louisville woman has been found safe after a Golden Alert was issued Feb. 16.

Police began searching for 28-year-old Chelsey White after her family said she left and never returned home. White has a medical condition which requires treatment.

A member of White’s family said she was picked up from Sissy’s Liquor Store on S 5th Street and W Evelyn Avenue in a newer model Nissan Maxima burgundy car.

While White was able to return to her family safely, a national organization explained why missing persons who look like White do not always get the attention and time compared to other demographics.

“This voiceless group of missing individuals, you know, oftentimes they don’t receive the media coverage, law enforcement assistance or community involvement to be found,” said Natalie Wilson, co-founder of Black and Missing Foundation based in D.C.

Wilson said statistics show that a disproportionate number of people of color are reported missing in the United States. Black and Missing has been working for more than a decade to bridge the gap.

“30% of all missing people were of color at the time we started the organization,” Wilson said. “And that number has since grown to 40%, and a large number of those numbers are Black women.”

The group has an anonymous tipline, and over the years their efforts have helped bring more than 300 missing persons back home.

“Oftentimes when our young girls and women are reported missing, they’re stereotyped as being involved in some type of criminal activity and that’s not necessarily the case,” Wilson said. “We have to remember these are mothers, and daughters and sisters…and we have to take these cases seriously because this is another pandemic that’s affecting our community.”

Wilson said she was happy White did not become part of an alarming statistic, while White family said they are still learning details on what happened, happy to have her safe and back home.

Photo credit: WHAS11

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