Oakland, Calif. – The mysterious disappearance of 5-year-old Hassani Campbell has stumped authorities and investigators since the boy vanished in the summer of 2009. On Jan. 18, 2012, a new TV series premieres – ‘Find Our Missing’ – which will feature the young boy’s story and the strange events surrounding the case.
Golden Globe-winning actress, S. Epatha Merkerson, hosts the new series that focuses on the large number of African Americans in the United States that have gone missing.
“Nearly one-third of the missing in this country are black Americans, while we make up only 12 percent of the population. Yet stories about missing people of color are rarely told in the national media,” according to TV One President and CEO Wanya Lucas.
The premiere episode of ‘Find Our Missing’ will also feature the strange disappearance of Pamela Butler, 47, who vanished from her heavily secured home in Washington DC. According to the show, her boyfriend was the last person to see her, but no one has been arrested in the case and her whereabouts remain a mystery.
To see a slideshow of photos from the premiere episode of ‘Find Our Missing,’ click here.
Host Merkerson, who may be best known for portraying Police Lt. Anita Van Buren for 16 years on NBC’s ‘Law & Order,’ said, “Though these victims may be gone, through this show we want to say they are no longer forgotten… I am honored to host ‘Find Our Missing’ and hope that my participation not only can help shine the spotlight on the plight of missing people of color, but that we can help uncover some answers and ultimately find justice for the sake of those missing and their families and friends.”
To see photos surrounding the Hassani Campbell case, click here.
Hassani went missing on Aug. 10, 2009, after his foster father, Louis Ross, claimed to have left him outside his car in a parking lot behind a shoe store where the boy’s biological aunt, Jennifer Campbell worked. Ross and Campbell were engaged and took on the responsibility of caring for Hassani and his younger sibling when they were removed from their mother’s home.
Ross told police he went to unlock the shoe store to allow Hassani to enter the store more easily because Hassani wears leg braces. He said the boy was gone when he returned to the car.
Court documents later revealed that prior to the boy’s disappearance, Ross had sent angry text messages regarding the boy to Jennifer Campbell, threatening to leave Hassani at a train station. Authorities also revealed Ross had failed a polygraph test regarding Hassani on Aug. 13.
On Aug. 28, the couple was arrested on suspicion of murder, but both were released shortly thereafter due to lack of evidence.
Reports indicate that Ross and Campbell have ended their relationship and gone their separate ways. Ross is reportedly living in Arizona and the family home in Fremont, Calif. is vacant and up for sale.
In the meantime, Hassani is still missing. He is described as having brown hair and brown eyes and was wearing a gray sweatshirt and gray pants when he was last seen. Anyone with information about Hassani should call the Oakland Police Department at 510-238-3641 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
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