The mother and sister of 43-year-old Derrick Elijah Gray, who was last seen in Richmond on June 1, ask that anyone with information as to his whereabouts contact them or police.
“Just call,” pleaded Lottie Gray, his mother, from inside Richmond Police Department headquarters on Grace Street. “Let us know. Let the mother know. Let the sister know. We just want to know he’s OK.”
The family last saw Derrick Gray around 8:30 a.m. June 1, when they dropped him off at the Chinese Express bus terminal near West Broad Street and Arthur Ashe Boulevard. He’d missed the 8:30 bus, but was scheduled to board the next one between 11 and 11:30 a.m. bound for Penn Station in New York City.
A manifest showed Derrick Gray never got on the bus, police said. Nor did he ever arrive in New York, where he was meeting his father and daughter to bring a family member home on a bus the next day.
“We haven’t heard anything since,” said Lottie Gray with large tears streaking her cheeks.
The family lives in Farmville, and Derrick Gray has no friends or contacts in the city, his family and police said.
Major Crimes Detective A. Sleem said she had pulled surveillance footage from businesses in the area and tracked his movements that Saturday morning. The last glimpse of Gray was at 10:51 a.m. headed east on Broad Street near CVS toward McDonald’s.
“There is a person everyone is hoping is still alive,” Sleem said. “Time is of the essence.”
Sleem said her unit, a homicide team in Major Crimes, was assigned the case June 6. The department’s homicide division handles most missing persons cases. They contacted area hospitals, jails and other law enforcement offices to no avail, said Sleem, calling the case bizarre.
Derrick Gray was typically in constant contact with family. His mother even complained about it at times.
“Boy, you don’t have to call me every hour,” Lottie Gray recalled saying. Now, all she wishes is to hear his voice on the other end of the phone, or better yet, to see him.
“Not hearing from him, I can’t take it,” she said, her voice breaking in and out with emotion. “Somebody’s got to know something.”
He had purchased a ticket home, as well as a ticket for the family member he intended to bring back with him on June 2, the day after he was last seen. Derrick Gray hadn’t even packed a change of clothes, Sleem said.
Gray was last seen wearing a white T-shirt under a black sweater vest with a large red-and-white diamond pattern on the front, blue jean shorts with ornate embroidery on the pockets, a white or light-colored ball cap and a single-strap, sling-type florescent yellow backpack. He is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Derrick Elijah Gray is asked to call Major Crimes Detectives W. Skinner at (804) 212-5686 or Sleem at (804) 814-7123 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.