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Kansas City Police Shuts Down ‘Rumors’ of Serial Killer Targeting Black Women; Family, Searching for Missing Teen, Says It’s Damaging

Local authorities have debunked allegations by Kansas City activists that a serial killer is targeting young Black women and girls, and it’s being ignored.

A video, which first appeared on TikTok, circulated reports of four dead and three missing girls. In the video, a man says two to four bodies were found near 85th Street and Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I am a little upset right now. The reason I am upset is because we have four young ladies that have been murdered in the last week,” said the man, reportedly a bishop at Eternal Life Church & Family Living Center in Kansas City. “And ain’t nobody saying nothing. The media is not covering it.”

The bishop also called on other community activists, leaders and the police department to “knock on doors.”

However, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department said the allegations are “completely unfounded, and there’s no evidence to support the social media claims.

“We want to make the public aware this claim is completely unfounded. There is no basis to support this rumor,” a spokesperson with KCPD told KSHB 41 News.

Mainstream media often has been criticized for not giving missing Black women the same coverage as their counterparts. Some experts blame the phenomenon on the invisibility of Black women, which contributes to an overall lack of representation in media. Others say there is hypervisibility of bad stereotypes of Black women in media that could drive the treatment. A third of the country’s woman who go missing are Black, PBS News Hour reports.

There have been at least two Black teenage girls reported missing to the KCPD in the past few weeks, the department’s Twitter feed shows.

Jayonna Brown, 17, was last seen on Sept. 9 and is listed as a runaway. Jada White, who is 15, went missing on Sept. 19. She is also listed as a runaway.

Jayonna’s family says the rumors about the serial killer are hurting their search for the missing girl. They have called on the community to stop spreading the narrative.

“It’s not true — please don’t call us and send us links with that information, we already can think the worst on our own,” Lavera Brown said. “All we can ask is your prayers are needed and to not send the links. It’s not helpful, we understand the outcome of negativity on society. We don’t need anyone to embark that on us with titles or web links.”

The video was reportedly first posted by the Kansas City Defender. The publication deleted the video and issued a statement about the allegations, which it says came from the bishop, the Justice Coalition and a group of community activists. The publication said it planned to meet with community leaders on Sept. 26 to find out the source of the claims and if there’s “an ongoing threat.” No updates were published as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

On Monday, the Brown family canvassed the Hickman Mills and Ruskin neighborhoods, asking residents if they have seen Jayonna.

“It’s been 17 days now, so I’m just trying to see if anyone may have seen anything,” Ty Brown, Jayonna’s uncle said.

A scan of the local news shows that only one local outlet covered the girl’s disappearance and on Sept. 20, the same day it was posted to the police department’s page, 11 days after she went missing.

“I miss her, and I love her, and I wish she could find her way back home,” Lavera Brown said. “Whatever is going on, we can find a solution, no problem is too heavy.”

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