Davonia Grogan, the older sister of 15-year old Affrika Clarke finally got the news she was hoping for; her little sister who had been missing since November 30 was found alive Monday, December 12. Still, several questions remain connected to the disappearance of the teen from her West Philadelphia neighborhood.

“I got a text from her godmother saying `they found her, more details later.’ Then my mother called and said they found her,” Grogan explained. “But, I don’t know how they found her, what condition she’s in, her mental and physical state,” she added.

Grogan, 23, who works in law enforcement, said she had gotten little response from mainstream media in reference to her sister’s disappearance, but was able to contact individuals connected to the Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Michael Baisden Show, who offered support in the search for the teen.

Meanwhile, Grogan, her partner and their friends used word of mouth and social media to spread the word about the plight of her younger sister. “It’s been blanketed all across Facebook, Twitter,” Grogan said. Their efforts obviously paid off.

“A little boy saw a one of the flyers we posted and recognized her from it and he called the police,” Grogan said.

Clarke, a student at Parkway West High School had last been seen possibly getting into a light grey large sedan with tinted windows near her Philadelphia neighborhood where she was allegedly discovered and picked up by Philadelphia police.

Grogan says she had grown so frustrated with the initial investigation into Affirka’s disappearance she decided to drive from Baltimore to Philadelphia in search of answers to her sister’s whereabouts.

“I don’t know if it was a lack of communication with anybody involved with the situation…it didn’t make sense to me. For my piece of mind I decided to drive up,” she said.

And when she arrived at the neighborhood where Clarke lives with her godmother, she says she became even more disturbed.

“I knocked on her godmother’s door and a woman answered the door and looked at me like I was crazy,” Grogan explained. “I told her I was Affrika’s older sister and she looked at me like, `Why are you here,’ like she had no idea of what’s going on,” she added.

Grogan says she had last saw her sister the Saturday after Thanksgiving when Clarke spent that holiday with her in Baltimore. She says their mother called last Sunday to inform her she was missing.

“Her (Clarke) step-dad passed last May…She took it really hard because he pretty- much raised her,” Grogan explained. And that’s when the decision was made for Affrika to move to Philadelphia with her godmother.

“It wasn’t a big adjustment period for her because she had friends and family there and she spent summers there,” Grogan added.

Grogan describes Clarke as, “a goofy child,” with an effusive personality.

“She speaks to everyone. When you see her you can’t help but smile and laugh because she’s that chilled,” Grogan said with a chuckle as she reflected on her little sister.

“She takes everything in stride and she makes the best out of a bad situation,” she added.

Ultimately, what was a bad situation turned out to be the best for Grogan who had said, “Honestly…I’ve prepared myself for the worst.”

But, she and Affrika’s other loved ones can feel comforted in knowing she is alive despite the questions that remain.

“I’m just waiting for more information,” Grogan said.


Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor