Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Stepha Henry Case Takes A Turn For The Worse

I had a really rough time at the Day Job today, but then someone forwarded me a news story that put everything in perspective. A man suspected of having murdered missing college student Stepha Henry was arrested today in New York.

The body of Stepha Henry has not been found, but so much of her blood was in the car that took her to a Sunrise nightclub that she could not possibly have survived, officials said Tuesday.

At a news conference at the Miami-Dade Police Department, officials for the first time said Henry, 22, was brutally murdered last May, and though she remains missing, her killer, police said, has been located.

Police in Brooklyn arrested Kendrick Lincoln Williams, 32, Tuesday morning and have been questioning him much of the day, said Jim Loftus, assistant director of investigative services for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Williams is being charged with second degree murder.

Henry, a recent graduate of John Jay College who aspired to attend law school, was visiting her aunt in North Miami during the Memorial Day weekend last year when she disappeared.

Prosecutor Abbe Rifkin, of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, said the second degree murder charge against Williams could change as the investigation continues. Williams is also charged with tampering with evidence.
The body has yet to be located, but all signs seem to point to a bad ending.

I've had people periodically ask me why I kept posting updates about this story, when there really hasn't been any new news since June. I guess my thought has always been that Henry could just as well be my wife, mom, aunt, sister in law, or for that matter, my son, since this phenomenon of "who cares if they're black and missing?" is hardly gender specific. How would I feel if my loved one was missing, yet I couldn't even get the police to search for them because they didn't fit the typical profile of a distressed missing person?

While Henry's case did get some low level of cable news media coverage, it is nowhere near the frenzy typically generated by a missing Jesse Davis, Natalee Holloway, or Elizabeth Smart. The case is perhaps most notable for having been famously bumped from cable news coverage when breaking news of Paris Hilton's imprisonment pre-empted it. And that's a damn shame, but it tells you a lil' something about the country we still live in. Politricks of Hope™ and "A New America" aside, we still have a long way to go.

I could go off on some tangent about how that pregnant marine story is all over the news, yet I wouldn't have heard about the break in this case unless my readers told me about it. Would more media attention to Henry's disappearance have possibly lead to her safe return? The world will never know. Why is it that the media, and by proxy (in some cases), the police don't seem to care about missing people of the wrong hue? If you're a male college student like Julian McCormick, a female college student like Henry, or any age above and below, reality is, you better find your own damn self, because nobody will be looking for you. Except for your family, friends, and Black and Missing, nobody cares. There is no Laquita Alert.

What is true is that none of that matters right now.

A life is quite possibly lost, and though I don't know anything about Ms. Henry other than what I've posted here for the past six months, I felt a deep and profound sense of sorrow when I was forwarded this story.

If these allegations are true, I hope there's a sauna in West Hell waiting for Mr. Williams.

Please pray for the Henry family in this time of sorrow, and always pray for God's hedge of protection for your loved ones.

Police: Blood evidence shows Stepha Henry was murdered [Sun-Sentinel]

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