Troy woman missing after visiting friend in Hazel Park

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
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Troy — Jessica Leigh White went out with a friend late Friday night. It was the last time her family has talked to or seen her.

That has her family increasingly concerned as they search in Hazel Park and Detroit for a woman who had $8 in her pocket and won’t answer her cellphone.

White, 21, was reported missing Saturday afternoon by her mother, Karen Black, with whom she lived in Troy.

“This is very unlike my daughter,” Black said. “If she needed a ride home, she would have asked me. And there are inconsistencies in what some people have told police since then that bother me.

“All I want to do is find my daughter.”

White texted Black and also a cousin, Kaitlyn White, early Saturday morning while visiting a friend’s house in Hazel Park but has not responded to any phone calls since then from either of them.

“She has not used her debit card and didn’t show up for a babysitting job on Sunday,” Black said.

She added a 24-year-old man her daughter has known since grade school picked her up about 11 p.m. Friday. White told her mother she planned to be home in a few hours.

“She had about $100 at home but only took $8 to buy some cigarettes,” Black said. “She planned to tell him (friend) she had to babysit on Saturday so he would bring her home.”

Black woke up Saturday morning to find White had not come back, which was not unusual since it wasn’t the first time she had stayed out all night. But Black also found a disturbing text message on her phone, sent at 2:45 a.m. that said the boyfriend and his father were arguing and it was an “awkward” situation.

Kaitlyn White, who described Jessica White as her best friend, also received a text about the same hour — which she also did not see until the following day.

“It just said ‘Ho’ — like she was trying to get my attention if I happened to be up,” said the cousin. “That was it, nothing else. She could have also called me if she needed a ride.”

Black filed a missing person’s report with Troy police but was advised because of her daughter’s age, she could be voluntarily missing. A report was filed with Hazel Park police and also with Detroit police, based on information she may have gone to that city.

When police initially spoke with the Hazel Park homeowner, he denied knowing the missing woman.

“He said neither he nor his son knew my daughter and she hadn’t been there,” Black said.

Black went to the Hazel Park address on Woodward Heights and spoke with the son who told her he had dropped White off at home at 8 a.m. on Saturday. When Black said she was awake then and her daughter never came home the friend said he dropped her off in the Seven Mile and John R area in Detroit, several miles away so she could visit a sister. Black said no family lives in the area.

Black went to the Hazel Park police station where she learned the father and son had changed their stories.

“The father had remembered my daughter was (at his house) and really wasted and drunk,” she said.

Family and friends have been passing out fliers asking for help in finding White and plan to return to the Seven Mile-John R area at 2 p.m. Thursday to draw more attention to the search.

White is described as 5-foot, 5-inches tall, 180 pounds, with dark brown hair, partly dreadlocked. She has metal piercings on her left eyebrow, ears and tongue.

White also has tattoos including a faded peace symbol on her right thumb and the word “Loyalty” on her left arm. She was dressed in a long-sleeved black “Nirvana” T-shirt with a smiley face, black yoga pants and gray Ugg boots.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts or disappearance is asked to call police at (248) 524-3477.

(248) 338-0319

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