After the case of Gabby Petito garnered nationwide attention, the Black and Missing Foundation, started by an Upstate native, wants to bring attention to the many additional missing persons cases around the country.
Most disappearance cases involving people of color quickly fall off the national radar, if they ever even make it that far — a racist double standard considering the current Gabby Petito saga, critics claim.
News coverage for missing persons is even more scarce in the coronavirus pandemic, according to the co-founders of the Black and Missing Foundation.
Phoenix Coldon, 23, was last seen on Dec. 18, 2011, sitting in the driveway of her family's St. Louis County home. Her mother, one of the last people to see her, thought Coldon had gone to the store.
The foundation founders said blacks make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 37 percent of the missing in the FBI's database under the age of 18 and 26 percent above the age of 18.
Tamika Huston vanished in 2004, one year before Natalee Holloway. Both women disappeared under mysterious circumstances: Holloway, 18, during a high school graduation trip to Aruba; Huston, 24, from her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Natalie Wilson and Derrica Wilson, founders of the Black and Missing Foundation Inc., are sisters-in-law. The pair co-founded the organization to help minority families who are searching for loved ones, a segment of the community that is often omitted from milk cartons, billboards and news headlines.
When Natalie Holloway went missing in 2005, most Americans couldn't turn on the television without hearing about the Alabama teen's disappearance.
While Blacks only make up 13 percent of the country's population, they make up more than 33 percent of those reported missing in the FBI's database. Given the limited coverage that Black missing persons cases receive, though, one wouldn't think that was the case.
In May 2004 Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old African-American woman, vanished from her Spartanburg, S.C., apartment. Though her family sent e-mails, put up flyers and called newspapers and TV stations-the national media skipped the story.