Family Members and Authorities Desperately Search for two Alabama men missing in California

Prayer Vigil at the Old Greene County Courthouse Square
LaDexter Pelt and John DuBose Jr.,
Police in California and the Black and Missing Foundation seek assistance in locating two African American men from Alabama who went missing after they arrived in Sacramento on Friday, November 5.
Authorities said LaDexter Pelt, 25, of Greene County, Alabama, and John DuBose Jr., 20, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, boarded a flight after Pelt celebrated his birthday. LaDexter is the son of Eutaw City Councilwoman Tracy Hunter  who also works at Greene County High School as secretary.  
Sunday, November 14, 2021 a prayer vigil was held, drawing a large crowd.
Authorities said they know that the men arrived in California, but their whereabouts remain a mystery. Heightening the tension, a hunter found a cell phone that belongs to Dubose, and police said it last pinged in the Sutter Bypass Wildlife Area, an approximately 3,200-acre region that includes two long, narrow parcels on each side.
Police have searched the area and have reportedly questioned the hunter but have not developed any new leads.
“This is a case that we’re very much watching,” said Derrica Wilson, the co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, which has spotlighted the plight of missing people of color for 14 years.
Pelt’s mother, Tracy Hunter, has expressed her fears and pleaded for her son’s safe return.
“I have every reason to be concerned because my child would’ve called me by now,” a shaken Hunter told reporters.
“He let me know that he made it to Sacramento, California, and we said goodbye for now. And that was it,” Hunter said, adding that both her son’s and DuBose’s phones are now disconnected.
“This is totally out of the ordinary,” she asserted.
Authorities said Pelt has short, black hair. He has brown eyes, stands six feet tall, and weighs 220 pounds.
DuBose is 5’6 inches and weighs 140 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
“LaDexter and John, if you are out there, please contact your family members,” Hunter said. “We are distraught; we are mentally exhausted. And as a mother, I am mentally torn and heartbroken.”
Anyone with information should contact the Sacramento Police Department at 916-808-5471 or the Greene County Sheriff’s Department at 205-372-3152.
Individuals can also call the Selma Police Department at 334-874-2137 or contact the Black and Missing Foundation at http://www.BAMFI.org.

Newswire : After 13 Years, Black and Missing Foundation still searching for tens of thousands of People of Color

Natalie and Derrica Wilson (left) founded the Black & Missing Foundation to raise awareness about people of color who have disappeared./ Allison Keyes / WAMU

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire

It’s been 13 years since Natalie Wilson and her sister-in-law Derrica Wilson founded the Black and Missing Foundation to help bring attention and closure to the ever-growing number of cases in minority communities.
As incomplete and cringe-worthy, the number of the missing – one count suggests that of the more than 600,000 individuals currently reported missing, more than 200,000 are individuals of color – Wilson forges ahead.
The recent case of the disappearance and death of Gabbi Petito, who was white and blone, has focused more attention on the missing people of color, including indigenous people, who go missing every year without similar press attention.
She does so, even 13 years and some success stories later, emotionally.
“We’ve come a long way,” Wilson declared during a recent visit to the new, state-of-the-art National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) television studios in Washington, D.C.
During a conversation with NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., Wilson punctuated the need for the Black and Missing Foundation with the story of Phoenix Coldena young African American woman who went in 2011 missing near St. Louis, Missouri.
“I called every media outlet, and no one covered that story,” Wilson recalled. “Finally, an assignment editor got tired of me calling and asked me to send Colden’s profile.”
In her interview with Dr. Chavis, which will air on PBS-TV and PBS-World as a special on The Chavis Chronicles, Wilson reflected on how the news media and even law enforcement fail to highlight missing people of color – notably missing Black girls.
“I’m so grateful for the Black Press,” Wilson remarked. “They have used their platform to showcase [these stories]. Media coverage is important. It could speed up the recovery and add pressure on law enforcement to add resources to these cases, and that’s vital.”
Wilson proclaimed that laws are needed to protect children, particularly victims of sex trafficking. She said she had witnessed young boys and girls arrested after becoming sex trafficking victims. “They need rehabilitation,” she exclaimed.
Wilson recalled a case in Virginia of a young Black woman who went missing.
“She was too old for an Amber Alert and too young for a Silver Alert,” Wilson stated. Ashanti Billie, 19, was kidnapped while heading to work in 2017. Authorities recovered her body 11 days later in North Carolina.
Because she didn’t qualify for either an Amber or Silver alert – which notifies the public about missing children and senior citizens – family and authorities lost precious time.
Virginia has now enacted The Ashanti Alert, which bridges the age gap. “This needs to be on the national level because so many of our missing are slipping under the radar,” Wilson stated.
She pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been an uptick in sex trafficking, and children are more exposed to online predators than ever before.
“They are tapping into our children,” Wilson said.
“There was a young lady who went missing. She was a gamer, and she was talking to a man online. So, when she went missing, her family was so surprised that she was talking to someone online.”
Wilson continued:
“You’ve got to be nosey with your children. Have them sit in an open area so you can see what’s going on. Create a fictitious account and see if you can befriend your child online and share information to save their lives. Unfortunately, once they go missing, we don’t have any intelligence to help save them.”
For more information about the Black and Missing Foundation, visit http://www.bamfi.org.