This undated image provided by Jackson State University shows Latasha Norman. The 20-year-old college student has been missing for a week, and this city’s police chief says her race is the reason her disappearance hasn’t gotten more attention.
JACKSON, Miss. — A college student has been missing for a week, and this city’s police chief says her race is the reason her disappearance hasn’t gotten more attention.
Latasha Norman, who is black, was last seen November 13 in one of her classes at Jackson State University. Her car was left on the campus, and the 20-year-old never returned to her dormitory room.
Luther Samuel, a detective with the campus police, said investigators have combed the campus and have been searching all over the state, but no sightings of Norman have been reported.
Police say they have no suspects. Among the people they have questioned are her current boyfriend and an ex-boyfriend who was charged Thursday with hitting Norman last month.
Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin said Norman’s disappearance should get “the same kind of concern” as that of Stacy Peterson, 23, a white woman from suburban Chicago who has been missing for three weeks.
“As far as the interest by the national media in the story, I think race probably had an impact,” said McMillin, who is white. “It’s a small college in the South. It’s the daughter of simple people who maybe are not important outside of their circle, and maybe we don’t attach the same importance to them that we do for other people.”
Police have named Peterson’s 53-year-old husband, a former police officer, as a suspect in her disappearance. Drew Peterson denies any wrongdoing, but prosecutors also are investigating the 2004 death of his third wife, which they now believe was a homicide staged to look like an accident.
Norman is a junior accounting major from the Mississippi Delta city of Greenville.
“We’re not going to stop until we know something. We’re going to be relentless,” said her father, Danny Bolden. “I’ll ask that God may touch whoever … may have done this, that they may come forward and bring Tasha back to us because we love her very much.”
By SHELIA BYRD / Associated Press Writer / article link