Suffolk mother pleads for information ahead of anniversary of son’s disappearance


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Sunday marks three years since a Suffolk man disappeared.  Quantez Russell’s family hasn’t seen him since November 11, 2015. 

His mother believes the truth is out there and is hoping someone will come forward with information.

It’s been three years of grief, but one memory is clear for Joan Turner:

“At 9:04 p.m. on November 11, 2015, I received a phone call stating that Quantez was possibly shot and unresponsive in the city of Newport News,” said Turner.

But that night, there was no crime scene, no body, no call for shots fired, and no sign of Quantez Russell.

“Nothing, nothing,” Turner said.  “It’s too mysterious, it’s weird.”

Police have had leads, but no answer to Turner’s main question: what happened to her son?

“Late at night is when it really gets me because I don’t know where my baby is,” Turner said. 

It sometimes feels surreal to Turner, who used to work for the Suffolk Police Department.  She said, “In my span of being a crime scene investigator, never thought that this would be happening to me.”

She’s taken the tragedy and tried to make something positive out of it by speaking to kids about gangs and gun violence.

“That lifestyle can either get you in some bad situations like what unfortunately he’s in now,” Turner said. 

She also started a scholarship in her son’s name, but none of that gives her closure.

“Everyday you wonder, is this the day I’m going to get that call from the police?”

Right now, closure is all she’s asking for. 

“At least if we have him, however we get him, there will be closure and then we can at least put that at rest,” Turner said.

Suffolk Police say the investigation is still active.  Call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP if you have any information.

If you’re interested in donating to the Quantez Russell Scholarship Fund, or want to discuss speaking engagements with Turner, you can email her at

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