CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A Chicago hip-hop artist and muralist is working to bring attention to missing person cases by painting portraits of missing Black women and girls from the Chicago area.
Damon Lamar Reed has been painting the murals as part of the Still Searching Project for the past two decades.
Reed’s aunt and two cousins were murdered in Chicago in 1984 and the case remains unsolved to this day. He said every couple of years his mother will tell him the news is doing something about the cases, but he doesn’t believe much is currently being done about the investigation.
“I started seeing things in Chicago with missing women and talk that there may be a serial killer. You know, Oregon had sex trafficking. So that just got me to thinking, how could I use my art to try to create a positive change,” said Reed.
He got his start doing research on cases on the internet. Eventually, he started having conversations in Facebook groups with family members of missing people.
He said the response he’s been getting from the families of missing people and the community has been positive.
“I see a certain joy from them.” The other day I had an art show opening and I was able to put a smile on a lot of faces,” said Reed. ‘And they were actually thanking me and I was honored that they would even come to my show.”