BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Let's start this with a situation we should all be able to empathize with. Pick perhaps the one person in your life you love the most. Now, imagine that person gone, missing, vanished without a trace. What would you do? How would you go on day-to-day?
Heartbreak is sure to follow for days, weeks and yes, years. Now, imagine you're getting very little help from your own community, as if those around you can't empathize, may not even sympathize or just don't want to get involved at all.
That's where Haittia Collins finds herself right now as she tries to find information on her son.
"You're right here in your neighborhood and nobody knows nothing," Collins said.
No one has seen her son, Keandre Collins, since December 29, 2012.
The Baton Rouge Police Department has been working the case from the beginning.
"Supposedly saw some guy over here, started talking to him at the grocery store," Det. John Meliet with BRPD said. "That's the last time they saw him."
His statement means somebody saw Keandre Collins very close to where he lived, just down from the store itself, along Avenue E in north Baton Rouge. Did I mention it's not just mom who misses her son? He has children of his own.
"He takes care of his children every day. Takes them to school, picks them up. He's always here with his kids and he's always making sure grandma is all right," Haittia Collins added.
Yes, his grandma, Lillie May Varnado, lives in the same area as well. When you hear her speak, you can feel her emotion. She talks about her family now, always checking up on her as she deals with her missing grandson.
"'Cause they scared something going to happen to me, worrying about him," Varnado said. "He's just like mine."
When you ask her how she's doing, her response is short, quiet and powerful.
"I ain't doing good," she responded.
That's all she says and you can feel her pain. So, the question is: Why won't anyone get involved? There's no empathy and no sympathy, but plenty of apathy. Family members say alive or dead, they just need to know.
The grocery store where he was last seen put up posters for a while asking for help. But no one has come forward. What happened to Keandre? A question being asked by many right now. It's just not being answered.
If you have any information about this case, contact Crime Stoppers at 344-7867, text CS225 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) or anonymously or go to www.crimestoppersbr.com.