CHICAGO—The case of 26-year-old Kierra Coles, the postal worker who was three months pregnant at the time she went missing, is still like a raw wound to those who love and care for her. Her family says she disappeared without a trace and that the circumstances surrounding her disappearance mimic many other Black women and girls missing in the city.
Ms. Coles’ mother, Karen Phillips, told The Final Call that she believes law enforcement has made a minimum effort to locate her daughter.
“They’re not really being helpful, and I have a private investigator and they don’t really want to answer his questions,” she said. “Why else won’t they help him? This man had to tell me he’s not getting help from the police. It feels like we’re alone on this.”
The Final Call contacted the Chicago Police Department for comment but did not receive a response during presstime. According to a report obtained by the Chicago Police Department, 14,343 Black women went missing between 2018-2022. Kierra Coles is just one of the thousands.
Ms. Phillips said she is concerned her daughter’s disappearance will be forgotten like many other Black women and girls. Her daughter went missing in October 2018.
“I know I’m just going to keep this going,” Ms. Phillips continued. “Hopefully, someone will pop up and say something. I don’t want it to go cold because everybody switches up and is on someone else.”
Ms. Phillips went as far as working with Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart who started a task force called the Missing Persons Project in 2021 to investigate 150 cold cases involving missing women. Of those cold cases, 38 involved Black women.
She said the only thing that came out of the sheriff’s investigation was footage of where her daughter was last seen. The video shows Ms. Coles entering a car with a man whom police say is a person of interest and is the man driving her car after she makes a stop at an ATM machine. Ms. Coles was not in the car at the time the man drove it back to her neighborhood. Her case remains a missing person case.
The Final Call contacted Sheriff Thomas Dart’s media department but did not receive a response before presstime. The Final Call also reached out to Regional Program Specialist Amy Jenkinson who was assigned Ms. Coles’ case under the Missing Persons Project but did not receive a response.
“I feel like they were just trying to say they were doing something,” Ms. Phillips said of the Missing Persons Project. She said her family will continue to search for their daughter and are grateful for the support and prayers of others.
Ms. Phillips’ daughter served as a postal service worker and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to her whereabouts.
Ms. Phillips pleads that anyone with information to call 312-747-8274.
—Tariqah Muhammad, Staff Writer