Sanaa Amenhotep, the 15-year-old daughter of local social justice activist Sharif Amenhotep was found dead April 28 in a wooded area by Lexington County police officials in South Carolina
Sanaa went missing on April 5.
Authorities have one juvenile suspect in custody. There is a second suspect Treveon Nelson who is at large. Each have been charged with kidnapping. Additional forthcoming charges will be levied by Lexington County authorities.
Authorities suspect that Sanaa was murdered shortly after her kidnapping and that her abduction and death are clearly ‘gang-related.’
Upon learning of his daughter’s disappearance, her father Sharif, the field marshal for the New Black Panther Party, immediately went down to Columbia, SC and began a people’s search and rally effort. He was joined by the national team of the New Black Panther Party out of Texas led by their National Chair Krystal Muhammad. Together they made the story of Sanaa’s disappearance and, consequently, the untold story of missing teens, a national story.
The church community of Sanaa’s mother also became actively involved in efforts to find Sanaa. Members from the Newark AntiViolence Coalition also went down to participate. The coalition’s chair Keesha Eure is returning to the area with a support delegation.
The State of South Carolina has some 4378 missing teens, a staggering number, an issue many feel needs more attention.
“Just as the question of Black women being killed by the police is underreported and responded to, the same is painfully true of missing teens in our community,” said activist Zayid Muhammad. “Missing teens in our community overwhelmingly means missing Black daughters,”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka extended his condolences to Sanaa’s family.
“No parent should ever have to bury their child. It is an inexplicable loss that defies imagination,” he said. “We hope that the South Carolina authorities can bring the suspects in this case to justice. Our entire city is joining with the Amenhotep family in their grief and pain.”