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CHP activates Ebony Alert in Northern California for girl, 16, missing since February

Sacramento Bee
The California Highway Patrol activated an Ebony Alert this weekend, asking residents to help find a 16-year-old girl who disappeared more than a month ago from East Palo Alto and who may be in another part of Northern California, including Sacramento County.

A’niya Maxey was last seen at approximately 10 p.m. Feb. 24 on Verbena Drive and Gardenia Way in East Palo Alto wearing a black top and black pants, the CHP said in the Sunday night alert. She is described as a 5-foot-1 and 110 pounds, the CHP said.

Maxey may be in Alameda, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The Ebony Alert, which stemmed from legislation passed in 2024, is activated to help find missing Black children and young Black women. It works similarly to the Amber Alert system, which activates electronic highway signs to post information about the missing person in a coordinated effort to locate the individual.

Anyone who spots Maxey is urged to call 911.

Nearly four in 10 missing children in the U.S. are Black, according to the Black and Missing Foundation, a nonprofit that bring awareness to missing persons of color across the country. About the same percentage of sex trafficking victims are Black women.

Compounding the crisis, the Black and Missing Foundation says, is the misclassification of missing Black youths as “runaways.” Black youth are disproportionately labeled this way when compared to lost white youths who are determined to be “missing.” The labeling costs missing Black youths crucial media attention and Amber Alert notifications, the foundation said.

The Bee’s Darrell Smith contributed to this story.

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