August 12, 2022
NORFOLK, Va. – The Black and Missing Foundation is urging national attention for Kadence Morrell, the missing 15-year-old girl from Norfolk.
“We need Kadence’s case to go viral,” said Natalie Wilson, a co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation. “At this point, she can be anywhere. [We need to] help her mom and her dad and her family get answers as to what happened to her.”
“Awareness is key. Exposure is key,” Wilson continued. “At the Black and Missing Foundation, our goal is very simple, and it’s to ensure that our [Black] missing are household names, too.”
As News 3 reported last year, people of color make up roughly 40 percent of missing person cases, but the cases that become household names are usually white women, according to an analysis of national news coverage in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
“Sadly, our girls and our women tend to be “adultified,” and they’re not seen as victims,” said Wilson. “With media coverage, lives can be saved.”
Wilson applauded local media coverage, and the Norfolk Police Department’s decision to bring in assistance from the FBI.
“With the FBI involved, it really sends a message that this case is being taken seriously, and Kadence’s life could be in danger,” Wilson said.
Wilson noted that the FBI can deploy resources local law enforcement agencies may not have, such as behavioral analysts or drones. She said the FBI can guide investigative efforts using forensic resources, too, including computer searches to see if Kadence was possibly communicating with someone.
“The FBI being involved is very vital to this case and a quick recovery,” Wilson said.
Wilson, who has been in communication with Kadence’s family, said they are devastated about her disappearance.
“They are holding on to hope that she’s going to be found okay,” said Wilson about Kadence’s family. “Her stepfather said Kadence is a homebody. She is always home, and she has a small group of friends that she hangs out with. This is so unlike her to leave the home and to disappear, so someone must have lured her out of the home.”
If you know where Kadence could be, call 911 immediately.
Photo credit: WTKR