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While young white women who go missing or murdered are often highlighted in the media, hundreds of Black men and women disappear more quietly, without the publicity their families deserve. 

Cathy Ann James

Cathy Ann James, of Tonkowa in Kay County, Oklahoma, was last seen on September 4.

Ms. Tonkowa was seen wearing an orange shirt and black sweatpants, and her car was found abandoned on Interstate 35 at mile marker 179, three miles north of the Stillwater exit.

Her family recently called the police to file a missing person’s report, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations is seeking any and all information regarding Ms. James.

Jelani Day

Jelani Day, of Illinois, was last spotted on August 24, when he was seen on a retail store’s video surveillance.

His desperate family had not heard from him in over 24 hours at that point, and the police were contacted on August 25. 

Mr. Day, a recent college graduate, planned to enter medical school in the future, and is a beloved son and brother. His car was discovered on August 26, with the clothes he had worn that day inside the vehicle.

On Friday morning, a body was confirmed to belong to Mr. Day, according to NPR.

Daniel Robinson

Back in June, geologist Daniel Robinson was last seen heading into the Arizona desert for work.

Mr. Robinson, 24, often worked in remote areas for his job, but regularly kept in contact with family and friends when he did so. 

Mr. Robinson’s father, stated, “Daniel has an innate passion for adventure and is known to travel inopportune moments. However, he always communicates with friends and family about his travel plans.

Mr. Robinson’s jeep was found in July, with damage indicating that it had rolled over. Evidence suggests that Mr. Robinson was wearing a seatbelt, but the young man is yet to be found. 

However, Mr. Robinson’s father is not giving up on finding his son, and is putting pressure on Arizona detectives to do more investigating into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Robinson’s disappearance. Mr. Robinson Sr, of South Carolina, has vowed to stay in the area “until we have answers and bring Daniel home safely.”

As media attention shifts to these underreported cases, families remain frustrated over the lack of response and worry how long the coverage will last.

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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