Augusta just wants Janell back

This community is committed to the principle that black girls’ lives matter

There’s even a medical-sounding name for the odd phenomenon: missing white woman syndrome.


It’s the justifiable perception that the national media, particularly broadcast media, care more about missing white women and girls, and cover their cases more thoroughly and sympathetically than that of missing men or women of color.

There for awhile a few years ago, cable news outlets appeared intent on proving the existence of the syndrome, with seemingly nonstop coverage of attractive blondes that had gone missing.

We’re here to tell you that’s not the case with either Augusta media or the Augusta community.

Black girls’ lives matter. Period.

Though she is presumed dead since going missing April 17 — and her stepfather and mother have been arrested in connection with her disappearance — 16-year-old LaTania Janell Carwell has not been forgotten by the Augusta community.

The start of school has made for another poignant milestone in her disappearance.

Besides a prayer vigil for her each week, and plans for billboards, including one near her T.W. Josey High School, concerned citizens led by faith-based radio talk host Angela Harden have created a decorative rock campaign in her memory.

The colorful “Rocks for Janell” feature heartfelt messages to and about the young lady, from prayerful friends and supporters. A collection of them was taken to Josey for display, while supporters were encouraged to spread others throughout the community.

Observers are under no illusions as to how this story will play out. But whatever has befallen her, Augusta just wants Janell back.

“We want Janell home and we’re not giving up on where Janell is, ” Harden said. “The community deserves closure, and Janell needs to be able to rest in peace. And until we find out where she is, there will not be any peace.”

To Ms. Harden and all of Janell’s friends and supporters: This newspaper and this community stand with you.




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