Friday, February 1, 2008

Update on the Abduction of Chioma Gray

Non-Family Abduction

DOB: Apr 27, 1992
Missing: Dec 13, 2007
Age Now: 15
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
Weight: 115 lbs (52 kg)
Missing From: VENTURA, CA


DOB: Mar 13, 1987
Sex: Male
Race: Hispanic
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 165 lbs

The investigation of the abduction of Chioma Gray has been fraught with mistakes and misinformation. I will attempt as best I can to ensure that factually correct information is made public, and that all are held accountable for doing everything that is right and just to find this young girl.

For starters, the original poster from the Center for Missing and Exploited children stated the Chioma was missing from Oxnard; she was not. Chioma is missing from Ventura. They also listed Andrew Tafoya's race as White; he is not. Andrew Joshua Tafoya is Hispanic. He is NOT 6 feet tall, he's 5'9" and he is NOT 195 pounds, he's 165 pounds. The poster also stated that a felony Kidnapping warrant had been issued for his arrest on December 14th; That also was not true. According to the National Crime Information Computer System (NCIC), a National criminal database, viewable by Law Enforcement, no felony Kidnapping warrant was ever issued. In fact, while Chioma has now been missing for 50 days, there is STILL no felony Kidnapping warrant. The warrants issued are for: (278pc) Non-custodial person detainment or concealment of a child, which, while a felony is still far less severe than a (207pc) Felony Kidnapping charge. An additional warrant was issued on the charge of (10851vc) Stolen vehicle. The poster also stated that they "may" travel to Mexico, when in fact the stolen vehicle was tracked by the license plate number crossing into Mexico on 12/13/07, the day of the abduction. The poster itself was not issued until the 22nd of December...

A second poster was released on 1/22. On this one, Andrew Tafoya was ALSO listed as missing along with Chioma and he was listed as her companion! Understand family, these are not schoolmates: this is an Adult who has absconded with a child. Andrew Tafoya is a convicted felon who has served time for (261.5pc) Unlawful sex with a minor.

It is a tragic irony that the Ventura District Attorney's office actually produced a 'Resource and Referral guide for Teens, Parents, Educators, and Community' on the subject of "Unlawful Sex with a Minor" and the title of the guide is "A Crime we cannot ignore". Yet somehow, they seem to have found a way... I wonder whose decision it was to redesignate the kidnapper as a companion; who authorized that change? The very idea of it is offensive and a breach of the public's trust.

The current poster from the NCMEC (this is now the third version) lists Chioma as an endangered missing person, but it still lists Andrew Joshua Tafoya as Chioma's companion! The poster no longer claims that a Kidnapping warrant has been filed. This is shameful!
In defense of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they create their posters with the information they are provided by Law Enforcement (in this case, the Ventura PD). The NCMEC is not responsible for posting information to the National Crime Information Computer system (NCIC) and in this case, I understand from speaking with the family that the NCMEC has been extremely professional and has offered well appreciated aid and assistance. But Clearly, the Ventura Police Department and Ventura County Districts Attorney's Office have simply dropped the ball. The information the Ventura Police Department provided for the NCIC and Center for Missing and Exploited Children has been routinely plagued and imbrued with the personal opinons, prejudices and unaffected attitudes of its investigators. We need to hold their feet to the fire and demand that they get it together and get out there and find Chioma!

On a more personal note, I would also ask all of you who read this blog to lift up Chiomaezronesha "Chioma" Gray in prayer, and that you would also lift up Chioma's family... Since the abduction I have had the opportunity to speak and to really dialogue with Chioma's Mother and I have found her to be a woman of great faith who is fighting with everything she has to find her baby. Chioma has siblings and a loving family who desperately want her home. Her mother has worked so hard in this case, doing everything a mother could possibly do to try and find her baby and we all need to just pray that God gives her the strength to keep her head up and keep fighting for Chioma's safe return. I am trusting and believing in almighty God that Chioma will make it home safely. Let us all keep that faith...

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

Ventura Police Department (California)
I will update you all with contact information for Legal Counsel once secured...

Members of the Afrospear, Afrosphere, and/or any other blogger association, (Gina, Francis, Eddie, AAPP, Field, Wayne, Villager, Yobashi, Adrienne, Dogon, Lola, and everyone else I missed) NAACP Branches, Community Activists, Webmasters, and blogmasters: please reproduce and help distribute this information. I am putting my faith in God and believing on his word that together we can help find Chioma and bring her home...

If any of you would like to leave a message or a word of encouragement for the family, please post it here and I will see to it that they receive it...

4 Click HERE to POST or READ the latest comments!!!:

Deidra February 2, 2008 at 4:05 PM  

Mr. Myles first of all thanks for reporting on this. This need to be heard by everyone. I put your update as well as did some research on my own on my blog this afternoon. If you don't mind I would like for you to check that out:

Also I would like for you to send me an email as soon as possible.

Pam March 4, 2008 at 2:16 PM  

Child Quest International, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the prevention and recoverey of missing, abused, and exploited children. We, at Child Quest International, are sorry to learn that Chioma Gray is missing. We want her family to know that we have posted her picture on our missing childrens website ( and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this horrific event.

Anonymous,  May 26, 2008 at 7:27 PM  

As of May 26,2008, Chioma Gray has still not been found. The family continues to cry out to deaf ears to find Chioma. And many continue to pray. What more can be done?

activist August 28, 2008 at 1:24 PM  

EVERY single DAY 3-4 women are killed in this nation by violent men in "Domestic Violence" homicides. Anyone who forms a relationship with his victim first, gets to fall into this category as if he weren't more dangerous than a complete stranger. Making matters worse, of all these who are victimized, they don't seem to get nearly the news coverage they deserve most of the time. Often, media coverage is the first rung to justice.
Media is quick to grab up cases if they involve a woman who is pretty, rich or yet another of the police officers' wife-but slow to cover the short (2-6) year sentences served by their killers when they ARE convicted. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).
It's time we took this on as the HATE CRIME that it is. She is a beautiful child, and deserves to be tracked down rescued and brought home to her mother. I hope he is just holding her alive, so that though she may come home with a road of recovery ahead, but God willing, she will come home.

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