Finding the connection with missing minorities in Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

Finding the connection with missing minorities in Charlotte

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Here one moment, gone the next. Living with consuming questions has become the norm for the family of Raymond Johnson.

Marcia Judy Hatcher is the 67 year old’s sister-in-law.

"When the phone rings, has someone seen him or is there some good or bad news," she said.

Johnson's family reported him missing to CMPD on Sept. 27, 2017.

They tried to pick up the Vietnam Veteran for an appointment at the VA Hospital from his apartment in the 5900 block of Monroe Road, but he wasn’t there.

CMPD issued a silver alert for Johnson who suffers from Dementia. Detective Donna Ring was assigned the case.

“That's not like him, he's generally around the area somewhere," Ring said.

Detectives searched from the air and on foot. A press release was sent out to the media, but nearly five months later there has been no sign of Johnson.

"This is the longest that he's ever been missing. They're concerned now because he has some medicines that he's not been taking and they feel that his health might be declining," Ring said.

Mr. Johnson's case is one of 55 missing persons cases CMPD still has open from 2017.

The overwhelming majority of them are minorities. 23 are black, 23 are Hispanic, eight are white and one is unknown.  

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.

33 of CMPD's 55 open cases belong to people between the ages of 14 and 17. Wilson worries many of those are looked at as runaways.

"The urgency isn't there when families reach out to law enforcement to file a missing persons report," she said.

Ring explains the difficulties of those cases.

"If someone is a runaway and they don't want to be found by police; If they see a police car, they might try to hide from that. So it does change the way the investigation goes," she said.

Ring says all cases are taken seriously no matter the race, but missing children may receive a higher priority.

"When kids get missing and society feels like something bad has happened to them, then I do think they pay more attention to that and that's just unfortunate the way it happens sometimes," Ring said.

Raymond's family is grateful for the work CMPD is doing to find him and they hope he comes home soon.

"We have no idea now. We just have no idea if he's in another state and can't find his way back," Hatcher said.

Raymond Johnson is 6'1 and 200 pounds. If you see him, call 911. You could receive a reward.

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