Despite numerous pleas from detectives to the national media, the disappearance of 18-month-old Amir Jennings has gone largely unnoticed.
MSNBC did pick up the story and reported that many advocates are attributing the national media’s apparent lack of interest in the case to the child’s race.
Amir, who is Black, was last seen on a surveillance video with his mother almost a year ago. The story garnered little attention, which might be puzzling to an objective observer in light of the national media coverage that incessantly followed every moment of the Jon-Benet Ramsey case and more recent murder of Caylee Anthony.
The child’s mother, Zinah Jennings was convicted last Friday and sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge related to Amir’s disappearance according to MSNBC, who also reported that the 23-year-old was arrested after giving police false and misleading statements regarding the whereabouts of her child. She has since given birth to another child.
As for the adorable, wide-eyed infant at the center of all this mystery, many, including South Carolina detectives, have expressed extreme disappointment that his name never reached the national spotlight after a very brief period immediately following his disappearance.
In addition to his race, experts have also pointed out that his gender might have played a role in the lack of coverage, citing that many people associate girls with crimes of pedophilia while missing boys are more often associated with being abducted by a family member.
Though the chances of Amir being found alive at this point are slim, detectives are still working to find out what happened to this boy with a bright smile. Either way, hopefully this case will encourage the media to play a more prominent role in future cases when children’s lives are at risk.
Amir was last seen in November 2011.
Get more on the story. Watch this report from earlier this year.
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