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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.

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.

Gift Kamau

Gift Kamau

Source: Family Photo / Madison Police Department

Case Type: Endangered

Date of Birth: September 5, 1996

Missing Date: March 30, 2017

Age Now: 20

Missing City: Madison

Missing State: Illinois

Gender: Female

Race: Black

Complexion: Dark

Height: 5-3

Hair Color: Black

Hair Length: Short

Eye Color: Brown

Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

Location Last Seen: Kamau was last seen on the morning of March 30 leaving her home in Florissant and heading to class at St. Louis University.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Madison Police Chief Chris Burns told NewsOne in an interview that Kamau’s car, a 2007 gold Toyota Corolla was found by officers around 10 p.m. March 30 near the Chain of Rocks Bridge which connects Madison with the northern portion of St. Louis.

When we went back to the car and looked inside we found some personal belongings and what we believe to be a suicide note,” said Burns.

Video surveillance of the bridge shows Kamau walking out onto the bridge deck and “not returning,” said Burns.

Kamau has had no contact with family or friends.

There wasn’t any indication from her friends that anything was wrong. Everyone said she was in good spirits. Her parents said she was having some issues at school so that might have been the trigger,” Burns said.

Police are still classifying the case as a missing persons incident.

We are still trying to keep those avenues open because there is a chance. You never know,” said Burns.

But several agencies have also been assisting Madison Police in searching the Mississippi River below the bridge.

The river is up high and moving fast. We haven’t had the best weather in St. Louis in the last week,” Burns noted, explaining the difficulty of the search.”That’s why we don’t have definitive confirmation.”

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Black short wavy hair and a thin build.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts or circumstances of disappearance for Gift Kamau may call the Madison Police Department at (618) 876-4300 or St. Louis County Police at (314) 889-2341 or CrimeStoppers at (866) 371-8477.

You may also contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.

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