Latisha Frazier’s mom wants police to find her body

Eighteen-year-old Latisha Frazier disappeared in August of last year. Five people have been charged with her murder; they beat and tortured her to death because she’s supposedly stolen money from one of them. It looks like it could be one of those mob mentality things. One of the defendants (the one Latisha had allegedly stolen from) said he never intended her to die and things just got out of hand. On the other hand, it’s hardly in his interest to admit to premeditated murder.

Unless the suspects lied about where they disposed of the body, Latisha’s body is in a landfill outside of Richmond, Virginia. The police have refused to search for it, saying it would be too difficult and dangerous and even if they did find the body, it wouldn’t help the case much.

According to this article, Latisha’s mother is really upset about this and wants a body to bury. I feel deeply for the woman and her grief and uncertainty. She is rather desperately poor and is raising Latisha’s daughter, who was three when Latisha disappeared.

That said, I think I’m siding with the police on this one. From the article:

Authorities say the container most likely would have been emptied into a landfill in Chesterfield County, Va. But if [the suspect] Gaither is lying about his involvement, or incorrectly recalling the date of Frazier’s death or the trash bin where the body was placed, then the corpse might be in a different location altogether. […]

The Frazier decision followed the recommendation of experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has assisted in other landfill excavations but in this case said the risk of chemical poisoning coupled with the sheer enormity of the Shoosmith Landfill in Chester, Va. — about 800 acres in surface area and roughly 100 feet deep — made the undertaking all but impossible.

The article talks about how the search for 9-11 victims in New York City was very dangerous and cost untold millions. The implication being, perhaps, that the police care less about Latisha because she was poor, black and an unwed teenage mother. But I think their reasons for not searching are very sensible and pragmatic.