According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files for the 2020 operational year, many as 365,348 children and juveniles under 18 were reported missing.
More than 133,000 of them are black. Although they are only 14% of the children population in the United States, black children account for more than a third of missing child cases.
Black families are often hesitant to file a missing person report because of the long-standing tension between law enforcement and the black community.
When they do file a report, often the authorities misclassified the disappeared persons as runaways. Therefore no AMBER alert was issued, and no sense of urgency.
It is the story of Relisha Rudd, an 8-year-old black girl who went missing in March 2014 from the homeless shelter at the old DC General Hospital.
No one from her family reported her missing until more than a week later, as they were under the assumption that she was safe with a trusted friend.
Media coverage outside the capital was also scarce at best. More than seven years later, her whereabouts remain unknown.
10 /10 The Mothers
Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, was born in Washington DC on May 6, 1986, to Melissa Young. The newborn was almost immediately taken under the care of her maternal grandmother, Mary until she was 2-year old.
From that point on, much of her life was pretty chaotic. Melissa ended up taking her five children, including Shamika, to a homeless shelter in Alexandria.
For several months they lived at the top until one day when the mother was arrested for assaulting a police officer. According to Virginia court records, Melissa Young was convicted in 1995.
9 /10 The Children
On her 18th birthday, Shamika signed out of the foster-care system, throughout which she experienced being hospitalized twice for mental health issues, violent threats, and behavioral problems.
About a year and a half later, on October 29, 2005, she gave birth to a baby girl, Relisha Rudd. Irving Rudd was pretty much absent, for he had spent time in prison for the 1992 death of a toddler daughter named Tarricka.
Shamika and Irving split up not long after she gave birth to the first of her three sons. Antonio Wheeler is the father of the two younger brothers.