Family and friends of a missing man in Indiana are extremely discouraged that his case is only now beginning to get the attention of national media. Morgan M. Johnson has been missing for more than a month now, so why hasn't anyone heard about him until now?
"Johnson, 27, was last seen on May 18 when he left his room at the Value Place Motel in Plainfield, Ind. Also missing is Johnson's vehicle, a 1995 two-door white Pontiac Grand Am with Indiana license plate JS1830." He left behind a bag he always takes with him and also his seizure medication.
The fact that he left behind his seizure medication has his family and friends even more worried, understandably. Also completely understandable is their frustration of trying to get the nation involved in the search for Morgan Johnson. They wonder if it's because he is a black male.
Family members initially became concerned when Johnson did not arrive as expected at his grandfather's funeral in Washington, D.C. He has not shown up for his job at Brightpoint, a cell phone distributor, either.
"It's like he just vanished," his friend, Avery Garrett, said.
While there has been a missing man for more than a month, all national media attention has instead been focused on Lauren Spierer, a missing Indiana University student. Needless to say, Johnson's family and friends wish an equal amount of attention were placed on Morgan Johnson.
Earlier this month, the Indianapolis Star compared the two cases and "asked the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) what prompts some cases to get widespread attention and others to go seemingly unnoticed."
"It all comes down to the circumstances," Ernie Allen, president of the NCMEC, told the newspaper. "A lot of times it takes the extreme or sensational."
According to Kelly Jolkowski, though, "missing women are typically considered more newsworthy than a missing man." Jolkowski is founder of the non-profit missing person organization Project Jason based in Omaha, Nebraska. Jolkowski said:
I believe there is a perception that in a missing male case that either no harm can come to them because they are male, therefore stronger, or that they've knowingly placed themselves into a risky situation. As we know, neither of those statements is true in all male cases and may hold true in a female case just the same.
Arguing the reason, at this time, is fruitless. What is important right now is that people help search for this missing man. Hopefully, the more attention his case gets, the chances of him being found will increase. Everyone is hoping that it's not too late. It's unfortunate the national media did not get involved a month ago when Morgan Johnson first went missing. But, better late than never.
Garrett says Johnson's disappearance is completely of character. Ann Johnson Smith, Morgan's mother, posted a YouTube video where she said, "I believe Morgan is alive, just disillusioned due to his medical condition."
"Johnson is a 5-foot-8-inch African American male. He is 155 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a sweater, and a black leather jacket. Anyone with information on Johnson's whereabouts should contact the Plainfield Police Department at 317-838-3565." There is also a Facebook page dedicated to finding Morgan Johnson.