Listen to this article here

Des Moines police continue searching for two sisters who went missing over the weekend. The two girls, ages 7 and 11, went missing on Sunday evening.

7-year-old Nyakhor Guang and her sister, 11-year-old Nyabiey Guang, were last seen in Union Park. Nyabiey is 5’3” tall, and weighs approximately 100 lbs while Nyakhor is 4’10” tall, and weighs approximately 80 lbs.

Police are searching for any possible explanations for the girls’ disappearance. In a news release, the police stated “Both girls left their Union Park neighborhood home voluntarily, however their destination is unknown.” 

Unfortunately, missing Black men, women, and children are not uncommon. While Black citizens make up 13% of the country’s population, they comprise 31% of missing people. 

In fact, missing White people get much more coverage, particularly White women. The phenomenon is known as Missing White Women Syndrome. 

Missing sisters

According to Zach Sommers, a criminologist who specializes in missing people, “When we see a White person who has gone missing, we say that could be my daughter, neighbor or cousin or friend. People identify with that person and are more likely to read the story than we would if it were a person of color.”

The website Missing Black People from the United Kingdom focuses on people of Color who are currently unknown in those countries. The United States also has a similar website, called Black and Missing. 

Black and Missing, a non-profit organization, recognizes that missing Black children are often considered runaways rather than victims. As of 2020, over 145,000 missing children are Black or Brown.

Des Moines police are requesting anyone with information about Nyakhor and Nyabiey call 911 immediately. Anyone who has seen the two sisters can also contact the Des Moines police department at 515 283-4811.

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...