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Family of missing Newport News mom desperately seek help in her search

Ty'Nesha Taylor went missing September 1. Her family will host a search party on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Newport News.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Ty’Nesha Taylor's mother is desperate to find her. 

"Please help us. Help us find Ty’Nesha Taylor. She matters,” said Francine Bragg, Taylor's mother. 

The 30-year-old woman was last seen at her mother’s home in Newport News on September 1. She was last seen wearing black sweatpants and a black top. She also carried a black backpack. 

“Now she’s gone and it’s not like her,” said Bragg. 

They don’t think her disappearance has gotten the attention it deserves, and they’re hoping that changes. 

Bragg describes her daughter as a ‘bubbly person’ who loves being a mother.
However, Taylor’s family says she’s been living with mental illness. 

“My family is crushed. We are devastated. We need Ty’Nesha to come home but we can not do it by ourselves," said her aunt, Louise Weeks. 

Her family is frustrated. 

Her sister, Paquita Edmonds, says they’d been trying to get her the mental health help she needed, but there were loopholes in the system. 

Edmonds said the family repeatedly tried to admit her into mental health facilities, but those places could only hold her for so long, as Taylor could check herself out.

Now that she has disappeared, they don’t understand why a missing person alert has not gone out on her behalf. 

Edwards wants there to be an alert system to locate missing people who are dealing with a mental health crisis, like Taylor. 

“I don’t want there to be another Ty’Nesha. I don’t want any other family to deal with this. The system needs to change,” said Edmonds. 

Japhari Jones, president of Black Lives Matter 757, is working with the family in the search for Taylor. 

He referenced the Marcus Alert, a statewide mental health framework designed to ensure that behavioral health experts are involved in responding to individuals in crisis. He said it needs to be implemented everywhere in the state. 

"They have to make this a priority, just like they made other things a priority. People don’t mind getting the alerts, we just need to get it done," said Jones. 

By July 1, 2026, all community services boards and behavioral health authorities throughout Virginia will need to establish a Marcus Alert system. 

Earlier this year, 13NewsNow reported Newport News Police Department partnered with RapidSOS in a push to enhance the emergency response to crisis situations. 

Edwards wants there to be an alert system to locate missing people who are dealing with mental health crises, like Taylor. She also thinks mental health systems need reform. 

On Saturday, the family is planning another search party to find Taylor, and they’re asking for any help they can get.

My family is crushed. We are devastated. We need Ty’Nesha to come home but we can not do it by ourselves,” said Weeks.

"I don’t know if someone hurt my child. Please help me. Please help me,” said Bragg. 

The family is asking people to meet them for a search party Saturday, September 25 at 9 a.m.  

They will meet behind the Starbucks on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News. 

Anyone who arrives is encouraged to wear bright clothing. 

If you have any information about her whereabouts you’re asked to call the Newport News Police Department at 757–247–2500.

Author's note: The video above is on file from September 25, 2018.