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Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.

NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.

To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.


Ella Williams

Case Type:

Date of Birth: January 1, 1961

Missing Date: January 7, 2013

Age Now: 52

Missing City: Columbia

Missing State: South Carolina

Gender: Female

Race: Black

Complexion: Medium

Height: 5’4″

Weight: 300

Hair Color: Black

Hair Length: Shoulder Length

Eye Color: Brown

Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

Location Last Seen: 49-year-old Brady S. Brown (pictured below right), his 68-year-old uncle Eddie Lee Cobb, Jr. (pictured below left), and family friend 52-year-old Ella Williams were in Columbia to attend the January 4th funeral of Brown’s mother.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Police said the three left Columbia on January 7th in a 2006 beige or gold Dodge Stratus, which had paper tags. The group planned to travel on I-20 to Shreveport, La., and haven’t been heard from since.

According to family members, Brady was on his way to Shreveport to pick up a truck he had purchased. Williams and Cobbs were headed to Texas.

Williams may need medications. Police say the last-known communication was made from a cell phone belonging to one of the three on January 7th near Birmingham, Ala.

Columbia Police are working with law enforcement agents in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

Brown (pictured at right) is described as 6 foot tall and approximately 225 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. He may have a beard.

Cobb (pictured below left) is described as being about 5 foot 8 inches tall and approximately 170 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.

“I’m praying that he comes home with a sound mind and good health,” Brown’s wife, Marguerite, told MS News Now. “Just come home.”

Keatha Poullard, a relative of Williams, posted this unedited plea for help on a local news site:

I am a family member of Ella Williams and I just wanna ask if there is anyone that can tell us where she is please contact us or the police please, This could one day be you, your child, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, wife, or your mother.

She is one or the other to each of us so please put yourself in our place and think about your love ones missing and you not knowing where to even start to search for them and you knowing that that love one health is at risk but they don’t even have the meds. they need.

We have been praying that each and everyone of them are safe and by the grace of God find a way to come back to us so please…we beg of anyone who may know something,anything that may help to get them back to us please reach out with that information no matter how unimportant you may think it is it very well could be what help us and them and again I ask put yourself in our place and do the right thing. Please….I beg of you in Jesus name I pray.

“We’ve been married for 27 years,” said Brown’s wife. “It’s hard.  It’s hard not knowing where he’s at.”

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown.

Anyone with information about these missing persons, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.

Trio Vanishes On Way To Louisiana, Texas After Attending Funeral  was originally published on