A persistent theme in the coverage of missing persons has been disparate treatment of missing persons of color. One example from North Carolina paints a compelling picture.
In 2017, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had 55 missing persons cases that remained open as of February 2018. The overwhelming majority of them are minorities. 23 are black, 23 are Hispanic, eight are white and one is unknown. Read more at WBTV.
Derrica Wilson, Co-Founder of the Black and Missing Foundation sees this trend often across the country. “We’re not trying to dishonor any community, we’re just trying to even the playing field. Because the worst is the unknown. Not knowing if your loved one is safe, not knowing if they are hungry,” Wilson said.
TV One ran the series “Find Our Missing,” hosted by Law & Order actress S. Epatha Merkerson for two seasons from 2012 to 2013. Merkerson, best known for her role as Lieutenant Van Buren on Law & Order, was inspired to host the show. “I noticed that there’s been this dialogue, especially on the black radio stations, about the dearth of information on people of color who are missing on a national scale,” said Merkerson. “So when TV One called and asked me to host, I thought to myself, Wow, some things happen for a reason.”
On the KFGO 790 AM show It Takes 2.0, radio hosts Amy Iler & JJ Gordon spoke with North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Roark and Director of Homeland Security Cody Schultz about the North Dakota Silver Alert program.
In the past week, two silver alerts have been issued throughout the North Dakota. According to the ND Highway Patrol, they believe the Silver Alerts contributed to the location of both individuals.
Click here to listen to KFGO 790 AM.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have published a study that examined the tendency of people with dementia to wander and become lost. As a result, the Australian researchers recommend that a Silver Alert system, similar to Amber Alerts for missing children, be activated when someone with the diagnosis of dementia is reported lost.
Led by Dr. Margie MacAndrew from the QUT-based Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Carers and Consumers (DCRC-CC), the paper on the research outcomes — ‘People with dementia getting lost in Australia: Dementia-related missing person reports in Australia’ — has just been published in the Australasian Journal on Ageing.
From the story at Science Daily:
“In our study, most people were found within five km of the place from which they went missing although one person managed to travel 800km. However, like the US, most of those found dead were very close to home.
“The findings suggest that people living independently in the community, along with those in aged care facilities, may need to undergo routine assessment to identity risk of wandering and the negative outcomes associated with it.
“We also recommend current approaches to coordinating a search and rescue attempt should include, careful searching in the immediate vicinity the person was last seen, particularly outbuildings and garden areas, should be given priority.
“Rapid reporting within one hour of knowing a person is missing is also known to help search and rescue have a better chance of finding a person alive and well.”