BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — When Denise Jefferson was asked to talk about her son, she started by saying, “he was a quiet, kind person.”
She described Ricardo Carlos Jefferson as a 39-year-old man who kept to himself and usually stayed at home. When he would go out with friends or on his own, he’d come back within a couple of hours.
Jefferson remembers how on Sept. 28, Carlos asked two family members if they wanted to go with him for a drive. They said no, so he left his home in Bessemer at 4 a.m. Jefferson assumed he was taking a trip to the 24-hour corner store nearby to get cigarettes, but that was the last time she saw him.
Shortly after his disappearance, the family contacted the Bessemer Police Department, who filed him as a missing person. Metro Crime Stoppers of Alabama has also offered a $5,000 reward in exchange for any information about his whereabouts or his vehicle.
Carlos was driving a 2015 gray Nissan Juke with Alabama license plate 1A0182U. It was spotted in Hueytown at 4:17 a.m. on the morning of his disappearance and has also not been found.
Jefferson is holding out hope that someone will come forward with information about her son, adding that she believes he may have been meeting up with somebody since his car was seen in Hueytown.
“I know that somebody knows something,” she said. “Maybe somebody saw something or maybe [somebody] who had something to do with it will see that we’re still looking for him, and we’re not giving up on him.”
Jefferson also wants the public to know that the family isn’t seeking revenge; they just want to know what’s happened to him.
“We just want closure. You don’t even have to let us know who you are. Just give us [a tip] that we could go on so we can find him,” Jefferson said, starting to choke up. “If he’s deceased, let us give him a decent burial so that we can grieve and move on, because not knowing hurts real bad.”
More than anything, Jefferson wants people to know how much she loves her son and wishes for someone to come forward.
“I don’t want him to be just another lost Black man or missing person,” she said. “I just don’t want him to be forgotten.”
Ricardo Carlos Jefferson is 5’9″ and weighs around 200 pounds. He has has vitiligo, which causes white marks on his arms and around his lips.
If you have any information about Ricardo Carlos Jefferson’s whereabouts or the location of his car, please call the Bessemer Police Department at (205) 425-2411 or Det. McCay at (205) 565-1320. You can also call Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at (205) 428-3541 to remain anonymous.