Mom of missing GR man in danger: ‘It’s so surreal’

Jamel Marcus Parker
An undated courtesy photo of Jamel Marcus Parker. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —  Air and water searches for missing Grand Rapids man turned up nothing Tuesday afternoon.

Grand Rapids police say Jamel Marcus Parker, 31, is involuntarily missing. Officers say he was last seen between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., running away from the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue NW.

Relatives say Parker disappeared Sunday morning after a party. Family members filed a missing person’s report with police Sunday evening.

Police were also notified about a shoe found Monday afternoon near the Grand River, not far from where Parker was last seen. Authorities have not confirmed the shoe belongs to Parker, but the discovery was enough to prompt Tuesday’s river search, which came up empty.

“We believe that Mr. Parker is in danger,” said Sgt. Terry Dixon. “We’re concerned for his welfare.”

Dixon wouldn’t explain the reason for the concern, only calling the disappearance ‘involuntary.’

What Parker was running from Sunday morning and what happened in those early hours is still unclear. Dixon said investigators are actively looking into the events of that morning, but wouldn’t reveal what they found.

“The main thing is that we find this man. And hopefully… our hope is we find him intact and in one piece. That’s what we’re praying for,” Dixon said.

It’s a prayer shared by Parker’s family. His mother stood along the river during the search.

“It’s so surreal. I don’t know,” Amy Parker-Tunnell told 24 Hour News 8. “It’s just kind of odd and unusual for him to be out-of-pocket like this.”

Parker-Tunnell is urging anyone who knows anything to come forward. She said Jamel has a young son who’s had to spend the holiday wondering where his dad is.

“He (Jamel’s son) couldn’t wait to give him the valentine that he made his dad. I don’t know how you just… how do you deal with that?” Parker-Tunnell said.

Parker is approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown eyes, black hair and a scar near his right temple. Officers say he was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, black sweatshirt, medium blue colored jeans and black Air Force One shoes.

The Michigan State Police Aviation Unit and Kent County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit have been requested to help in the search.

Anyone with information about Parker is encouraged to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.4683 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.