MP of the week: Marcie Peterson

Marcie Tokeysha Peterson is this week’s featured missing person. She was 28 when she disappeared from Marietta, Georgia the day before Halloween in 2003. She has at least three tattoos, two of which are of Chinese symbols.

Marcie had run into some personal setbacks and was having (shall we say) some difficulties with several different people prior to her disappearance, and she’d been threatened. In spite of this, however, her sister said she didn’t seem concerned about anything and was trying to put her life back together. It’s possible she traveled to New York after she went missing, but police believe it’s more likely that she came to harm.

I don’t have much on her and as far as I know, no one has been named as a suspect in her case. Essence Magazine, a monthly publication for African-American women, featured Marcie’s case along with several other missing black women about four or five ten years ago, but I can’t find the article now.

Some more media attention in the Dashad Smith case

Per this article: the police are still looking for Erik McFadden, described as a person of interest in Dashad Smith‘s disappearance. He dropped out of sight shortly after Dashad was last seen, and hasn’t been seen since. He’s not a suspect, but the cops would like to question him.

I’m surprised and gratified Dashad got any media attention at all. He’s in three categories of marginalized people: black, poor and gay. (That’s right, I did say gay, not transgendered. Several sources I found out about Dashad specifically said he was not transgendered although he did like to dress as a woman from time to time. I’d love it if anyone who knew him could elaborate about this in the comments section.) Black missing people are largely ignored; black men most of all.

Article on Quinn Woodfolk

They did an anniversary article about Quinn Woodfolk, who disappeared fifteen years ago on July 4 from Charlotte, Virginia. (His name has also been given as “Quentin.”) He was only eleven years old. It looks like it could be a runaway case — to the extent that an eleven-year-old CAN “run away” — and, disturbingly, it says he could be in the company of drug dealers.

The article doesn’t provide much in the way of new info, but it’s nice that he got a bit of press. How often does a missing black boy Quinn’s age get any media attention?

If he is still alive, Quinn will turn 27 in a week’s time.

Missing black babies

Charley has a number of cases of missing babies (age two or under) and I’ve noticed something odd about it. There seem to be a high proportion of black babies among them. (I’m talking only about cases where there’s no evidence the child’s parents or caregivers were involved.) It’s very strange. I count a nearly equal number of black babies and white ones, which is skewed in proportion with the general population.

A list of all the black babies I can think of:

El-Jahid Allah (missing with his dad)
LaMoine Allen and his cousin Kreneice Jones (okay, Kreneice was three, but LaMoine was two)
David Ezell Blockett
Kimberly Boyd
Andrew Brown
Andre Terrance Bryant
Christopher Dansby
Raymond Green
Teekah Lewis
Donel Jacoby Minor
Kamiyah Mobley
Tavish Sutton
Vinyette Teague
Shane Walker
Carlina White

There are a few Hispanic babies:
Annalycia Cruz
Bryan Dos Santos Gomes
Joseph Hurtado
David Miera
Marlene Santana
Jacqueline Vasquez

And the white ones:

Aaron Anderson
Christopher Abeyta
the infamous Sabrina Aisenberg
Marx Barnes
Richard Barnett
James Bordenkircher
Robert Bowling
Desiree Carroll
Ashley Conroy (missing with mom)
Jeremy Dages (missing with his mom)
Corey Edkin
Sean Evans
Curtis Fair
Ruben Felix
Elizabeth Gill
Royce Henson (missing with his mom)
the sisters Sausha Henson and Shaina Kirkpatrick
Megan Ginevicz
Melissa Highsmith
Larry Krebbs
Jamie Thornton
Shannon Verhage

I’m pretty sure not all of these children were abducted, though I think most were. There is suspicion the four of the black children I mentioned were sold into an adoption ring. I think the whole thing is very odd. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of adoptable black babies around. In fact, I’ve read that the United States is actually exporting some of our black newborns to Europe because not enough adoptive parents can be found in this country who want them. I would assume that it would cost a great deal of money to buy a black-market baby, probably more than a regular adoption (which is also very expensive). Most families who can afford this are white and generally want white children. But here’s another idea: perhaps there are a lot of black families who want a baby and can afford to adopt one, but for whatever reason they don’t qualify for adoption and thus they resort to other means.

There’s a good chance, anyway, that many of the missing babies I’m talking about are still alive and don’t know of their origins. My guess is that most of them were taken not by an organized ring of baby-snatchers but by demented individuals who wanted a child of their own. One would think that such women are pretty harmless, but that isn’t always the case. A few years ago, in a case that shocked the nation, a woman who wanted a baby attacked a pregnant woman, killed her, slit her open and made off with the baby. The baby survived and was found quickly, thank goodness. Whoever took them and for whatever reason, Carlina and Andre’s abductions in particular are frightening. The person or persons who took Andre killed his mother to get him, and Carlina’s abductor(s) ripped an IV out of the baby’s arm and carried her away from her hospital bed while she was critically ill. I wish the Amber Alert had been around back then; it might have saved them.

I’m not sure if this odd racial demographic actually means anything. Charley doesn’t profile every missing person case in the country — far from it, the site has just a sliver of them. Also, most babies that are snatched, at least in recent years, get found within a very short time, and Charley only profiles cases that are at least six months old. You could put forth the following hypotheses:

1. For some reason I just happen to have heard about more missing black babies than white ones.
2. The police look harder for missing white babies and find them faster, so the babies don’t stay missing for six months and end up on Charley.
3. Abductors of babies deliberately target minority families, perhaps because minority families tend to have less money and less influence than white families. This would tie in with Hypothesis #2.

I really have no idea, but I thought I’d bring this up. I’ve been pondering on it for awhile.