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Crime News Missing Persons

"We Have Lost So Many Nights of Sleep": Family Desperate for Answers after 21-Year-Old Houston Mom Goes Missing from Work

Deundrea Ford vanished two weeks after starting a job at Diva's Bikini Bar. Her family says she was seen getting into a white van and hasn't been heard from since.

By Grace Jidoun
How Do Investigators Handle Adult Missing Person Cases?

The family of Deundrea Lakelsia Ford — a 21-year-old mom who disappeared on September 22 — believes she was abducted and is asking for the public’s help to locate her.

The young Houston resident was last seen on video footage walking out of her workplace with an unidentified man near the 11900 block of the East Freeway between 1:00 a.m. and 1:20 a.m., the Houston Police reported in a press release on Tuesday. There has been no trace of her since.

Ford had just started a new job as a dancer at Diva’s Bikini Sports Bar & Grill two weeks before her disappearance, said her family. According to her relative who spoke with Oxygen.com, she had been dropped off at work on September 21 and was waiting for a ride from a family friend to take her home. She and her 4-year-old son, who her family described as her “pride and joy,” lived with her grandmother about 40 minutes away.

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“Her son is her best friend, and she takes really good care of him. She just taught him how to ride a bike and loves racing around with him,” her relative told Oxygen.com.

According to her family member who asked to not be identified by name, another dancer was the last person to see Ford as she exited the club with a male customer, and video footage captured Ford and the unidentified man getting into a white GMC Savana 3-door van. Her family told Oxygen.com that Ford called her ride — a friend of her grandmother — to inform them that someone else would take her home. But the family friend told her not to leave. Authorities believe the white van sat in the parking lot for more than an hour.

A police handout of Deundrea Ford

“Her ride pulled up just when she was taking off with the van. The van took off with both the headlights and taillights off,” said the relative. “There’s video footage of a New Jersey license plate, but you can’t see the whole license. It’s not a passenger van; it’s a worker van.”

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At the time of her disappearance, police say Ford was wearing tan pants and a black tank top. She is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. “An important detail is that her hair had just been braided that day, brand new and fresh, with really long braided extensions,” her relative noted.

Her family member also told Oxygen.com that another unidentified woman was seen on video inside the club sitting next to Ford before she left, and she believes a manager was present at the club. The family hopes customers and employees who were there that night and saw Ford can provide clues about the man's identity.

“Our family really wants to get her home. We have lost so many nights of sleep. I’m at a loss for words because it’s a lot right now.”

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the Houston police or the Black and Missing Foundation.

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