Its been five years since Toni Jacobs has seen her daughter, Keeshae. Yet, as one of the first families spotlighted in HBO’s new Black and Missing docuseries, she hopes to finally get some answers.
Jacobs’ then 21-year-old daughter vanished near Chimbarrazo Park in Richmond, Virginia’s East End. She tells ABC 8 News that authorities didn’t take the disappearance seriously during the crucial first two days after Keeshae went missing.
“I called the F.B.I, and I was pleading and begging them to please help me,” Jacobs says. “So have I talked to anybody? No.”
Her daughter’s disappearance also failed to make any headlines at the time. That disparity in media coverage is one of the issues executive producers Geeta Gandbhir and Soledad O’Brien hope to address with the new docuseries.
While the timing seems to coincide with the Gabby Petito case, which brought these disparities to the forefront on a national level, especially as the parents of Jelani Day and Daniel Robinson raised questions about the lack of coverage for their missing sons. The HBO spotlight on the work of the Black and Missing Foundation has been in the works for years, COVID-related production delays having pushed the docuseries’ to premiere tonight on HBO and HBO Max.
Jacobs still can’t help but wonder, “What made the F.B.I. more eager to help [Petito] than to help Keeshae.”
After spending the last five years sharing her daughter’s photos online, hoping that someone might have a tip about Keeshae’s whereabouts, she was referred to the Foundation, specifically for this project.
“I’m praying with my heart and soul that it brings Keeshae home,” she says. “But if it doesn’t, I hope this helps someone else and brings awareness for people to pay attention to other missing people.”
Keeshae Jacobs’ disappearance is still an active Richmond Police case.