Searches for Mississippi woman Latasha Crump Coleman, last seen in July 2023, turn up nothing
The 46-year-old and her car, a 2002 gray Acura MDX bearing Mississippi plate HPA8639, have not been seen since July 18, 2023.
It all started with a simple plea for help to Dateline’s Facebook page.
“Please please please help us,” the woman wrote. “Please help us get the word out nationally!! We miss her. We love her and we are lost.”
The woman identified herself as Candice Bryant and told Dateline that a family friend named Latasha was missing.
“I’m just very passionate about stuff like this,” Candice said. “I watch Dateline 24/7. I’ve seen every episode that’s ever been aired -- like every episode... It just hit different when it’s somebody you actually know.”
46-year-old Latasha Crump Coleman was reported missing by her family on July 19, 2023. It’s now been nearly two months since she was last seen at her home in Jackson, Mississippi.
Dexter Crump is Latasha’s only child. The 31-year-old told Dateline that his mother is a loving woman who works hard and is very sorely missed.
“She was a correctional officer for the prison, and she also did flower arrangements for wedding and funerals,” Dexter said. “She’s outgoing. She want to help any -- everybody. Everybody love her.”
Dexter told Dateline that his mother and father were young when they were together and never married. However, he said, Latasha did get married in May of 2013 to a man from whom she is now estranged.
Candice Bryant told Dateline that she and Dexter are close friends. “I just know what he’s going through. It’s tragic. It’s tragic,” Candice said. “She’s a mom, she’s a sister, a friend. She’s important. No one knows where she is.”
Dexter told Dateline that he last spoke to his mother on Monday, July 17.
It was on Wednesday, July 19, Dexter and the rest of the Crump family realized something was very wrong. “My great aunt had passed, which is my mom’s favorite aunt. And my mom was supposed to be at work that day. And since she’s a correctional officer, you know, they can’t have phones inside the jail,” Dexter said. “So we called her job to tell her that my aunt had passed, and everybody was going over to my cousin’s house or whatever, and they said, ‘She was a no-call, no-show.’ And that’s not like her.”
Dexter said they waited until the end of the work day, hoping maybe she would turn up. “I have the key to her house,” Dexter said, adding that he went over there to see if maybe his mother was at home. “We just waited,” he said. “But she never came home.”
Dexter noticed that his mother’s Apple watch was at the house, as were her dogs. “My mama has three dogs, she loves her dogs,” he said, confident that Latasha would never have left them without telling him. “She will always call and say, ‘I’m going to go out of town,’” Dexter explained. “Or, ‘I’ll be late at -- at work, can you go let my dogs out?’”
Missing from the house were Latasha’s car and purse. The Crump family decided to call the police and report her missing. It was just after 7:45 p.m. on July 19, 2023.
“I’m calling her phone, texting. The messages are not going through. Just going straight to voicemail, and I just started panicking,” Dexter said. “Now it’s almost, like, two months later. We have no answers, no nothing.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations issued a Silver Alert for Latasha and posted about her disappearance on their Facebook page on July 20. The post states that Latasha “was last seen Tuesday, July 18, at about 7:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Hidden Valley Lane in Hinds County.”
The post continued to say that Latasha is “believed to be in a 2002 gray Acura, MDX, bearing MS tag HPA8639 traveling in an unknown direction.”
Dateline reached out to the Jackson Police Department for an update on Latasha’s case, but has not yet heard back.
“The police department, they did two searches, but all the other searches been me and my aunt, her sisters and brothers, friends, whoever,” Dexter said. “We just been out on our own.”
So far, they’ve found nothing. “No purse, no clothing, no car, no tag, no nothing,” he said.
Friend Candice Bryant told Dateline that every time she is out and about, she keeps her eyes peeled for Latasha. “Whenever I’m out, I ride slow and just look for anything in the area,” she said. “I keep my eyes open, and I tell everybody else to do so, as well.”
“I’ve been praying day and night for them,” Candice said. But she fears that Latasha’s case has been swept under the rug.
“This emotion started with [Carlee Russell] because I really thought that she was missing,” Candice said. “I was at the point where I wanted to drive to Alabama to help find her because the story was just -- sounded horrible.”
Russell’s case captured national attention after she placed a call to 911 on July 13 about seeing a toddler alone by the side of a highway. Security footage captured her pulling off the road and then disappearing, leading authorities to initially believe she might have been kidnapped. Russell turned up more than 48 hours later and eventually admitted she had not been kidnapped or missing at all. She has since been charged in connection with the kidnapping hoax.
“So a few days later, when this happened... I was just like, ‘Wow,’” Candice said. “And then I saw how hard it was to get something done about it, like, to get help.” Candice is afraid the fallout from the Carlee Russell case may have made it more difficult for Latasha’s to get the attention it needs.
Which is why she reached out to Dateline. “People don’t want to help until it’s national,” Candice said.
As the two-month mark of his mother’s disappearance nears, Dexter says his hope that his mother will come home safe is waning. “I’m thinking maybe something might’ve happened to her, but I’ve been trying to keep faith,” he said. “I think that the longer it goes, I kind of lose faith.”
At this point, Dexter said he just wants his mother back, “I’m at the point now where I’m like, ‘I don’t care how I get her back, just let me get her back.’”
Latasha is 5′5″ tall and weighs 180 lbs. She has black braided hair and brown eyes. She is 46 years old and was last seen wearing black jeans and a black T-shirt.
If you have any information about Latasha’s disappearance, please contact the Jackson Police Department at 601-960-1234.
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