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Bernice King, daughter of MLK Jr., asks for public’s help locating missing Maple Heights teen

Alanna Perkins has been missing since May 21, 2021, according to the Ohio Attorney General's...
Alanna Perkins has been missing since May 21, 2021, according to the Ohio Attorney General's office.(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, took to Twitter Saturday to raise awareness of the case of a Maple Heights teen who went missing in May.

Alanna Lavette Perkins, 15, was last seen May 21, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s missing person website.

Perkins is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has blond hair and hazel eyes, according to the Ohio AG.

She has a nose piercing.

Those with information about her whereabouts are asked to contact the Chagrin Valley Regional Communications Center at 440-247-7321.

In recent weeks, there has been a push to increase the visibility of missing people from marginalized communities, after the disappearance of Gabby Petito, who was white, received intense media coverage.

A search for Petito captured the media’s attention last month after she did not return from a cross-country road trip with her finance.

Her remains were later found in a Wyoming national park, and the search for her finance, who has been named a person of interest in the case, is ongoing.

Members of non-white communities have said that, while cases like Petito’s deserve coverage, so do the cases of missing people from Black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities.

The kind of coverage of Petito’s disappearance received is an example of what some call “missing white girl syndrome” characterized by an intense interest in the disappearance of a white woman to the exclusion of missing women who are not white.

[Read examples of that criticism here, here, and here.]

Many commenters shared King’s tweet about Perkins’ disappearance, calling for the public to be on the lookout.

Others on the thread questioned why her case hadn’t received more attention.

“Hmmm, I wonder why her case isn’t all over the news?” one man wondered.

“No need to wonder, just RT the post and pray she’s found safe!” another responded.

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