Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 37 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database under the age of 18 and 26 percent above the age of 18. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
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NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile missing persons and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing.
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: September 6, 1995
Missing Date: May 3, 2017
Age Now: 21
Missing City: Baltimore
Missing State: Maryland
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Eggleston was last seen at her residence on Cherrycrest Road.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Eggleston was 35 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy when she went missing. Her stepfather, Shawn Wilkinson, 40, a supervisor at the Department of Labor, told NewsOne that Eggleston was on bed rest and needed a cesarean section to deliver her baby.
The week she went missing, Eggleston had a doctor’s visit for a routine check-up, and grooming appointments for her hair and nails before her baby shower on Sunday, May 7. But she failed to show up at any of the appointments, including the baby shower, sparking concern. The last time a family member spoke to Eggleston, who works in retail sales, was May 3 when the expectant mother spoke to her grandmother.
“She’s never disappeared like this before,” Wilkinson said. “Even when she was mad at me she would always tell me where she was going. Somebody in the family or her friends always knew where she was.”
Eggleston also has a 2-year-old daughter with whom she shares custody every other weekend with the father. Before her disappearance, she spoke to her daughter daily. But the arrangement and the calls ended upon her disappearance.
“She loves her daughter. Overall, she was happy about having another child,” Wilkinson said.
All of Eggleston’s personal items were cleared from her apartment when her family went to conduct a wellness check.
“The only thing left in her apartment was her bed and a couple of dressers. It looked like she had moved out but we know she couldn’t move anything because of her high risk pregnancy. She could barely walk,” Wilkinson said. “It makes no sense.”
Wilkinson says police have interviewed Eggleston’s acquaintances and believe they have no involvement in her disappearance. Baltimore detectives are investigating the case but so far have ruled out foul play.
“We don’t believe this case involves foul play at this time, but we are concerned because she left and no one knows where she is,” Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith told WBAL TV.
Eggleston’s family has begun searching for her themselves.
“That was the last thing on my mind to search for my niece in the woods or a lake or a park. I’m just pleading with anybody that’s watching or who hears of anything. Please contact us the family, friends, police. If you see anyone who looks like her,” Eggleston’s aunt Sanobia Wilson told WMAR Baltimore. “Her child needs her mother, both of her children, you know.”
“Time is of the essence because her pregnancy is high-risk. Akia needs to be found immediately– for her and her child’s safety,” Wilson told NewsOne.
Wilkinson says his stepdaughter has already gone into early labor once and needed medical intervention to halt the birth. The family is struggling to stay positive.
“My gut says she’s not okay but I’m trusting in the good Lord that she is,” said Wilkinson. “I just want her to know that we love you and want you to come home. Your daughter is missing you.”
Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of circumstances of disappearance for Akia Eggleston may contact Baltimore Police at (410)-396-2499 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.