Summit on missing women and girls of color held in the Bronx

MOUNT EDEN, Bronx (WABC) -- A summit was held in Mount Eden on Friday to discuss how New York City deals with cases of missing women and girls of color.

The event was organized by Girl Vow and its National Taskforce for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls of Color.

It brought together community activists and social workers who deal with victims of sex trafficking and abuse, as well as family members of missing women of color.

"No matter whether you're Black, Brown, it doesn't matter what your skin complexion is," said Dawn Rowe, with Girl Vow. "What we're saying is we want to be heard as well."

Ingrid Santana-Ramirez, whose daughter Kassandra Ramirez disappeared from the Bronx in September 2018, spoke at the event.

She said while a detective within the NYPD seems to be working hard on the case now, she doesn't feel that her daughter's case was taken seriously when she was first reported missing.

"They didn't want to take the report," she said. "They said maybe she's with a boyfriend and she doesn't want you to know. Or maybe she fell off the wagon."

The mother of missing Brooklyn mother Chelsea Cobo, Rose Cobo, also spoke at the event.

She detailed the frustrations she has endured trying to find Cobo, who disappeared six years ago. Eyewitness News profiled Chelsea Cobo's case in the second episode of our True crime series, "Missing."

New York City Councilwoman Althea Stevens told attendees that she is planning to introduce a resolution that would create a task force on missing minority women and girls.

Similar legislation is being considered in New York State.

Senate Bill 6924 says a task force is necessary because, "Law enforcement categorizes missing BIPOC girls as runaways, which leaves cases to be pushed aside and treated with a lack of urgency. BIPOC women and girls are all too often and easily erased from public discussion."

"We have to get to a place where we are really pushing to make sure that there's equity when anyone is going missing," Stevens said.

CLICK HERE to watch the full "Missing" episode on Chelsea Cobo.

If you believe you know anything about the disappearance of Chelsea Cobo, Kassandra Ramirez, or any other missing person in New York City, call the NYPD Missing Persons Squad at 212-694-7781.

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