After a year, family wants answers

Published 10:30 pm Thursday, November 10, 2016

It has now been one year since Quantez Russell disappeared without a trace.

The Suffolk man hasn’t been seen or heard from since Nov. 11, 2015. His mother, Joan Turner, who also lives in Suffolk, got a phone call that night from a friend who heard Russell had been shot in Newport News.

His car was found the next day in Newport News, but it didn’t yield any evidence.

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“We still don’t know where he could be,” Turner said.

Russell, who would now be 31, is listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. His cellphone was found in the possession of someone else, who has been questioned. There has been no activity on his social media accounts. Unfortunately, detectives have been stymied by a lack of evidence.

Turner said she has the feeling that Russell is dead.

Quantez Russell and his mother, Joan Turner. (Submitted Photo)

Quantez Russell and his mother, Joan Turner. (Submitted Photo)

“I just feel that he would have contacted one of us by now,” she said. In addition to his mother, Russell has sisters and a girlfriend he could call. He also has a 9-year-old son.

“I’m preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” Turner said.

But in the midst of their uncertainty, worry and grief, the family is hoping to make something positive out of Russell’s disappearance.

Turner said the family is in the process of starting a foundation to give scholarships to Suffolk high school graduates who are studying law or criminal justice in college. Preliminary plans call for the students to write an essay on how to stop drug crimes and gang violence as part of their application, Turner said.

Turner said the family also hopes to be able to talk to students about avoiding a life of crime, using her son’s story as a cautionary tale.

“I know Quantez was involved in some really bad stuff,” Turner said. “People he thought he trusted and was friends with were not friends. Gangs, drugs, weapons, all that stuff they think is cool, can eventually lead you in the direction of prison and death. We just want to do something positive in the community. We’re hoping that at least one person is saved.”

Turner said the family simply needs closure on what happened to Russell and where he is, and she urged anyone with information to talk to detectives.

“They need more information on what people actually know,” Turner said. “They really need people to talk to them.”

Anyone who has information is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or text the keyword SPDVATIP and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters never have to give their names or appear in court and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.