Family searches for missing Grand Rapids man

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

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Jamel Parker, 31, has been missing for nearly a week now.

Grand Rapids police believe he’s in danger. Tuesday they announced his disappearance, calling it ‘involuntary.’

Dozens of Parker’s family and friends launched their own search for him on Saturday.

“I hope that maybe he’s somewhere injured and he’s just looking for help. The worst case scenario is that he’s not alive anymore and he still needs to be uncovered for his justice,” Parker’s sister, Jamie Gray, told 24 Hour News 8 Saturday.

Police said Parker was last seen running from the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue NW around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Gray said he was with friends that night, but was anxious in the hours beforehand. She’s worried he ran into trouble with the group.

“I do believe that there was some altercation that went on, and that led Jamel to believe that he was in danger,” she said. “We don’t know — was he threatened? Did he get threatened to put him on that edge? He ran in terror.”

“His cell phone was turned off a little after the altercation,” she added.

The day after Parker disappeared, a shoe was found near the train tracks just blocks from the neighborhood where Parker was last seen. Police aren’t sure if it’s his — but the discovery prompted river searches by water and by air on Tuesday.

Those came up empty.

Family and friends returned to that same area Saturday, and expanded their search to cover several more miles on the city’s west side. Their efforts came up empty as well.

“He could be captive. He could be buried. He could be dumped on the side of the road — no one’s really giving up that much information,” she said.

Gray said they will keep searching until they find answers.

“By faith we’re out here and just hoping we stumble across something.”

Police have conducted interviews and are actively working the case, but aren’t releasing specific details. Gray said she’s hesitant to say too much, as to not compromise the investigation.

Parker is approximately 5-foot-4 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.

A GoFundMe page has been created to aid in the search for Parker.  The page says any money donated that is not used to find him will be refunded.

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.