Reporting Ron Dewey
DETROIT (WWJ) - Thursday is expected to be the final day volunteers will be used by investigators in the search for 2-year-old Bianca Jones, missing now for almost a week since a reported carjacking of her father’s car in midtown Detroit.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey was at the Metropolitan United Methodist Church, the central gathering point for the volunteer effort. Pastor Ray McGee told searchers how he has been inundated with calls from the national media about the search for Bianca.
“The eyes of the nation are upon the City of Detroit because of your action and your compassion for children. And too often, the eyes of the nation have been on Detroit for other reasons,” said McGee.
About 150 volunteers combing through a search area that expanded past the east side of I-75 got help from some two dozen Detroit firefighters and their equipment to search abandoned houses and building that would otherwise would be unsafe for untrained searchers.
Bianca’s mother Banika Jones thanked the volunteers who have helped search for her child.
“I can’t say thank you enough and how grateful I am to all these people that are volunteering and helping and looking for my baby and praying for me,” said Jones. “I can feel that and I wanna say thank you so much and … please continue keep searching for Bianca. We love her and we want her home.”
Bianca has been missing since Friday when her father called police and said he was carjacked and his daughter was still in the back seat. Police recovered the car but the little girl was not inside.
Police said Bianca may have been wearing a purple jacket and pink tights. Her hair is in braids.
She was allegedly abducted by a 25-30 year old black male, 6 foot tall, 190 pounds, with some facial hair and a medium skin tone. He was last seen wearing a brown and black baseball style cap, black coat and dark pants. A hand gun was seen by a witness.
Police Chief Ralph Godbee says the search for the child is of the highest priority, adding that authenticity and credibility of the original version of events in under intense scrutiny by investigators.
Bianca’s father, D’Andre Lane, said he’s focused solely on getting his daughter back safely and is unconcerned that police doubt his story.
“I don’t care what you do, just bring her home,” said Lane, who added that he wants to help in the search but has been advised by law enforcement to stay home after receiving death threats.
More than $22,000 is in a reward fund for information leading to Bianca’s safe return. Billboards are up along the freeways and volunteers have been passing out fliers all over Metro Detroit.
Anyone with information on the alleged victim, abductor or vehicle, is asked to immediately call 911, the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-2260 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.