Examining a cold missing person's case in metro Detroit in wake of Gabby Petito interest

Posted at 7:01 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 07:41:06-04

(WXYZ) — The story of Gabby Petito's disappearance quickly gained national attention. The case sent news outlets and social media users into a frenzy, as people from all over the world focused on every detail that popped up.

But many families of other missing people, particularly women of color, are asking why their cases aren't being covered like this one.

At the end of 2020, the FBI said they had over 89,000 active missing persons' cases and 45% of those were people of color.

In Michigan, there are many missing persons' cases, and several cold cases are in metro Detroit.

Professor Thomas Holt from Michigan State University said personal interests like true crime draw people to cases like Petito's.

"It seems as though clicks are generating some of this attention as well. Some of the reporting of the people trying to solve the case have noted they have seen their own followers increase. So there is some degree of reinforcement for posting this kind of news," he said.

But there are other names right here in metro Detroit, like Jasmine Moody, who vanished without a trace back in December 2014.

The Black and Missing Foundation is a nonprofit organization. Their goal is to bring awareness and provide vital resources to missing persons of color.

"No one knows what happened to her and the case should not die the media coverage should not die until Jasmine's family has answers as to what happened," Natalie Wilson, the co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, said.

Moody is originally from Texas but flew to Detroit to meet Brittany Gurley, who lived on Detroit's east side.

Police said at the time the two were more than just friends, and got into a fight over Jasmine's social media posts.

The family of Gurley allegedly searched for 15 minutes, then called police and told investigators that Jasmine put on her hoodie and left. She left behind her purse, wallet and personal belongings.

"You just don't vanish out of thin air, you know what I am saying. I mean what happened here man is common sense is what happened," Patrick Kidd, Moody's stepfather, said.

Detroit police brought in the Michigan State Police Crime Lab to process the house. Volunteers searched the area, but there has been no luck after seven years.

Kidd said their family just wants to get some answers.

"Just closure man. We're out here and have accepted the fact that she's deceased because it's been too long. If she were still alive she would have gotten in touch or have reached out. We just want closure and somebody held accountable," Kidd said.

We also reached out to Brittany Gurley on Facebook to get her side of the story and did not hear back. Police say the case is still opened and if anyone has any information, to call them with any tips or leads.