Family and friends are holding onto hope as they continue their search for 22-year-old Marquez Duncan Jr., who disappeared from his home in Tuskegee, Alabama three weeks ago.
They say it’s out of character for “Quez” to go this long without talking to anyone, especially his mother, who lives in Michigan.
“We talk every other day, if not every day,” Tateshia Stevens Duncan told Dateline. “And we video chat so I can see his face. He would never go this long without talking to anyone… WE never go this long without talking to each other.”
Tateshia added that she video chatted with her son the night he disappeared — February 23, 2021. She said Marquez seemed fine, happy. He told her he was pledging to a fraternity at Tuskegee University, where he was studying chemical engineering.
So when Tateshia failed to reach him by phone later that week, she assumed he was busy with pledging activities. But by Saturday when she hadn’t heard from him, she was worried. After multiple calls with Marquez’s friends and roommates, they figured out he hadn’t been seen since the night of February 23. Tateshia added that her son’s cell phone was also missing but his wallet was left behind at his apartment.
“Why would he leave without his wallet?” Tateshia pointed out. “And he never went anywhere without his sunglasses and his jewelry. All of his stuff was left at the apartment. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Marquez was reported missing to the Tuskegee Police Department and Sergeant BJ McCullough told reporters at a press conference that they are doing everything in their power to find Marquez.
“Right now, we’re using all technology to assist and locate him,” Sgt. McCullough said. He added that they have also reached out to ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) for assistance.
Marquez, who is a native of Georgia, moved to Tuskegee to study chemical engineering at Tuskegee University. His godmother, LaTanya Davis, told Dateline their family believed he was still attending classes, but recently learned he was no longer enrolled. The university released a statement that Marquez was missing, indicating that he was a student at one time and that he was last seen at his off-campus residence.
LaTanya and other family members, who live in Georgia and Michigan, will be traveling to Tuskegee later this week to hand out fliers and talk with neighbors.
“Somebody out there knows something about where Marquez could be,” LaTanya told Dateline. “We just hope they find it in their heart to come forward.”
Last week, Central Alabama Crime Stoppers announced that a $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Marquez’s whereabouts.
His mother hopes it will entice someone with information to come forward. This Tuesday marks three weeks since Marquez was last seen or heard from.
“As a mother, I’m just getting really anxious,” Tateshia said. “It’s been too long… he’s been gone too long.”
Tateshia said her mother, Marquez’s grandmother, wakes up every day and calls his cell phone, hoping for an answer on the other end.
“Our family is very worried about our Marquez,” Tateshia said. “I just want my child back.”
Marquez is described as being 6’0” tall and weighing 185 lbs. He was last seen wearing a t-shirt and black gym shorts.