Teen Has Been Missing for a Over Year. Without an Amber Alert, Mother Had to Turn to Community for Help to Pay for Own Search-and-Rescue Dogs.

A Kentucky mother is desperately searching for her daughter more than one year after she went missing.

The search effort has been an uphill battle for Consuela Jobe, who has received minimal assistance from law enforcement.

Her daughter, Kamaria Johnson, now 17, went missing on May 26, 2021, after a violent encounter with her father. She left her home in Radcliff, Kentucky, without her keys, cellphone, money, identification and eyeglasses. However, local authorities did not issue an Amber Alert because she was classified as a runaway.

Teen Has Been Missing for a Over Year. Without an Amber Alert, Mother Had to Turn to Community for Help to Pay for Own Search-and-Rescue Dogs.
Kamaria Johnson disappeared from her Radcliff, Kentucky home on May 26, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Consuela Jobe)

“I wasn’t getting a lot of help from police,” Jobe told Atlanta Black Star. “I have had quite a few obstacles.”

Jobe and her family members garnered support and donations on Facebook and raised enough money for a K9 unit to track Johnson’s whereabouts. She also tried buying TV spots but needed a missing person’s police report.

“[Johnson’s father] told them she was a runaway, so that also prevented me from getting the help that I needed to try to even get her picture up there,” Jobe said.

An Amber Alert pushes messages to TV and radio broadcasters and transportation officials about missing children. An alert is issued when there is “reasonable belief” by law enforcement that a child has been abducted, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The law enforcement agency must also believe that she is in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.”

Johnson’s two younger teenage brothers told their mother that she was put out of the Radcliff home she shared with her father, siblings and stepmother that May night. Jobe and the girl’s father divorced 12 years ago, and Kamaria is the oldest of their three children.

The three teenagers lived with their father on school days and spent weekends, most holidays and breaks with their mother and stepfather in Louisville. It is believed that Johnson walked four hours from her father’s house to a gas station in the next county, where a man in a white sedan picked her up.

Johnson’s grandfather Thomas McKinney said the driver of the white vehicle contacted him and told him he picked up the girl at a Meade County gas station and dropped her at the next gas station off Highway 60 in Hog Wallow.

Surveillance footage from the convenience store at the gas station shows Johnson getting out of the car around 7:30 a.m. in the last clothes she was seen wearing — a pink jacket, black joggers with red and black stripes down the side and a Gucci Mickey Mouse mask. However, the video also shows Johnson’s face was severely swollen.

Jobe said she went into the store, used the bathroom, didn’t purchase anything, and left through the front door. She has not been spotted since.

Radcliff police detectives told WHAS-TV that they questioned the driver of the white sedan and ruled him out as a person of interest. The man told authorities that he offered Johnson a ride because it’s unusual to see Black people in the area.

“He said he asked her where she was going, and she first said the airport, and then, later on, she told him she was going to the next store,” Jobe told Atlanta Black Star.

Jobe said she found out later that the man works at the same company as her ex-husband. However, he told authorities that he wasn’t aware that Johnson was related to his coworker at the time.

The K9 unit followed Johnson’s scent from the Hog Wallow store on June 5 for more than 5 miles east on Highway 60. That’s where the “scent trail stops in a manner consistent with her being picked up by a vehicle,” wrote Jennifer Hall of KYK9 Search and Reunite Services in an email to Radcliff Lt. Brian Davis.

Hall attached the search report and maps to the email. The search rescuer said since Johnson had been reportedly hit in the head by her father before leaving home, she was afraid the girl might have been on the side of the road.

Jobe said the direction of the trail pointed to the Fort Knox area, more than 30 miles away from Radcliff. The mother believes her daughter was trying to make it to Louisville, where she lived.

Teen Has Been Missing for a Over Year. Without an Amber Alert, Mother Had to Turn to Community for Help to Pay for Own Search-and-Rescue Dogs.
Consuela Jobe, left, and her daughter, Kamaria Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Consuela Jobe)

Jobe said she didn’t know her daughter had left her father’s home until 12 hours after. He told Jobe that he caught the teenage girl sexting, and she ran away. Jobe told her ex-husband to report the girl missing, but he told police she ran away.

“I know it wasn’t like her,” Jobe said. “She’s a straight-A student who was getting ready to take the ACT, and she would have been graduating this year.”

Jobe said Johnson’s brothers told her about the confrontation between their sister and father a week later when they returned to her house.

In a recent school essay, the 14-year-old recalls the night his sister disappeared. The boy wrote that his father went to his sister’s room to check on his little brother, who was crying, and after some silence, he heard “slight thumping” and his father’s voice saying, “in the morning, you’ll be out of this house.”

According to her 16-year-old brother, their father stomped Johnson on the head, took her cellphone and locked her out of the house. Since Johnson’s disappearance, Jobe has filed a protective order and she has full custody of their two sons.

“I learned a lot more things were going on in the home from that as well, and there was a lot of silence due to fear,” Jobe said. “Some teachers have called CPS on him before, and they were told by him to lie about what was occurring. It was getting so bad that my daughter started telling them the truth, and they didn’t believe her. But I was unaware of any of this.”

Teen Has Been Missing for a Over Year. Without an Amber Alert, Mother Had to Turn to Community for Help to Pay for Own Search-and-Rescue Dogs.
Kamaria Johnson has been missing since May 26, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Consuela Jobe)

Jobe said the police looked at the home for signs of a struggle “a couple” weeks after Johnson left.

“To me, that was a little frustrating,” she said.

Jobe said Johnson’s case never got the same attention as missing white children. Two white teenagers ran away from an amusement park 10 days after Johnson disappeared, and their pictures were shown on local TV as “missing” and “endangered.”

According to the Black and Missing Foundation, 138,320 children of color went missing in the U.S. in 2021. African-Americans accounted for 38 percent of missing children, even though they account for 13 percent of the country’s population. However, media coverage of missing Black children has been disproportionate compared to missing white children.

The foundation found that many Black children are initially classified as runaways, and there’s a lack of empathy for Black victims that leads to desensitization.

Davis, the Radcliff lieutenant assigned to Johnson’s case, said he has collected 500 pages of evidence.

“It’s unusual for kids to just up and disappear,” he told WHAS-TV.

The Meade County Sheriff’s Office and Muldraugh Fire Department helped control traffic so the search-and-rescue dogs could track Johnson’s scent last June. Jobe asked the police to follow up with gas stations along the route because they wouldn’t give her copies of surveillance footage.

“But I don’t know if they followed through on that. I hadn’t heard back about that,” she said.

Jobe has been able to get more eyes on her daughter’s case after a video featuring Johnson was posted on The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Facebook page in May, a year after she disappeared. The mother is still holding onto hope that her daughter will be found and wants her to know it’s safe to come home.

“She’s a loving young lady. She’s always been caring. She loved to sing. She was in color guard. She’s very artistic,” Jobe said. “I just know someone out there knows something. I just need to say know. Let us know.”

Teen Has Been Missing for a Over Year. Without an Amber Alert, Mother Had to Turn to Community for Help to Pay for Own Search-and-Rescue Dogs.
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