Update: Devon Brown is no longer missing and has been found alive and safely.
The Philadelphia Police are seeking information regarding missing teen Devon Brown, who was last seen walking on South 29th Street and Franklin Soccer Field on June 1. The 14-year-old is 5-foot-6, 120 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. It is unknown what he wore when he was last seen. Police ask anyone with possible information about his whereabouts to contact them at 215-686-3183 or 911.
Brown’s disappearance comes after a Penn M.A./MBA Penn student was reported missing by her family and was found six days later in West Philadelphia. Brown’s disappearance also comes in the wake of an FBI report warning about a rise in sexual exploitation of male minors in Philadelphia.
Harmeet Kaur of The Philadelphia Tribune noted two issues that are prevalent in cases of missing Black youth.
According to Kaur, the first is a mistrust of law enforcement. As a result, missing persons reports are filed slower and individuals are less likely to call the police with additional information during the critical first 72 hours of a missing persons report. The second structural problem is that missing Black youth are more likely to be ignored by media reporting and classified as “runaways.”
A 2018 article in PLOS One revealed that while children who are gendered male and female have comparable recovery rates, children who are identified as Black “remain missing longer and [we]re more likely to be still missing by the end” of the period of the study.