Family marks six years after disappearance

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A Suffolk family on Thursday will mark six years without any news or contact from one of their loved ones.

It was Nov. 11, 2015, when Quantez Russell last contacted his family. That evening, his mother, Joan Turner, received a phone call that her son, age 30 at the time, had been shot in Newport News.

However, the location of the shooting was never located, nor was Russell. Since then, he has not been seen or heard from, and his body has never been found.

Turner believes in her heart her son is dead, but she wants closure.

“We just wish that people in Suffolk, if they know what happened and where he was last seen, would call,” she said. “It would be awesome if they would at least do that so we can have some kind of closure.”

While awaiting information on her son, however, Turner and her family have not rested. They have started several initiatives in Russell’s memory, including a scholarship fund and a community beautification effort. Turner is also available to speak to groups about the dangers of drugs and gang activity.

A community cleanup will take place this Saturday to honor Thursday’s anniversary of his disappearance. It will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. beginning at 1226 White Marsh Road.

“This will be our fourth cleanup for the year,” Turner said. “We’ve had about 30 people that have assisted us in the cleanup the past three times.”

Turner said one of the neighbors where the sign marking the group’s involvement is located lined the area with bricks, and Russell’s father spread mulch and planted flowers around the sign.

“It is really pretty for the fall,” Turner said.

She has offered to write letters verifying volunteer hours for any student who helps at the cleanup.

In addition, Turner is encouraging donations to the Quantez Russell scholarship fund, as the group has been unable to do fundraising this year. She is also available for any speaking engagements people need. Call Turner at 757-650-8096 for more information on how to donate or have her speak.