Angela Kelso was my friend. At least in Middle School. She had a way of making me laugh on long, dreary Michigan school days. But what I remember the most was that Angela was always nice to me. In February of 1991, Angela’s body was found in a field not far from our small Lansing, Michigan community. Angela was murdered.
Angela was 17.
As I sit surrounded by family this New Years Eve’s, I am thinking about Angela and her family. It’s been almost 30 years. How are they? Are Angela’s mother and father still alive? What are the holidays like in her home… or the home of any family who has had a loved one taken?
I can still see Angela. Fresh wet-set curls on picture day, new outfits at the start of school, and a big, genuine smile. As soon as my memory calls up the clearest memory of Angela, my picture is over-taken by an image her laying in a field. Cold and alone. To this day, the truth of her story remains unknown. What happened to Angela? Who snatched her dreams? Would she be a mother now… have a son in college as I do? Would Angela have a garden or be an advocate for Autism Awareness and Education?
Our world will never know what greatness Angela could have brought. Instead, she is but a name on a list of Cold Cases.
Angela Kelso, 17. Body found in rural Delhi Township. Last seen alive a week earlier leaving Lansing City Hall.
Angela’s family and loved ones are not alone in having to move forward in life with no answers. In 2014, the Black and Missing Foundation published 64,000 missing black girls and women nationwide. It is reported that 35% of our nations missing children are black and 20% are LatinX. Let me be clear, all of our missing children are a problem. However, the disproportionate rate and recent increase among girls of color is alarming.
I am left with one question: Where Are Our Daughters?
Have our girls been kidnapped, drugged, and forced into modern day slavery or sex trafficking? Are they in an underground secret factory made to work, or have they been abducted and drugged for a modern day syphilis experiment of sorts? Are our missing daughters alive or do their bodies lay across the fields of America waiting to be found?
These are hard questions that must be asked and it is time to demand answers. We must demand answers for each and every missing child in America.
Tonight, I will close out 2019 thinking of Angela and her family. I will pray for them. I will be thinking of all the families in America with a loved one missing; those dear families who are living with what I imagine to be a cruel sort of hope and an ache for closure.
It’s time to find our daughters.