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Williamsburg teen missing nearly 11 months, father hires private investigator to find him

Derrick Graham searches for son missing since September 2021
Posted at 4:10 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 18:22:51-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – A Williamsburg father is taking matters into his own hands to find his son who has been missing nearly 11 months. News 3 first reported the boy’s disappearance when his father contacted the newsroom last year.

“I’m past worried,” said Derrick Graham, the boy’s father. “I’m scared.”

Graham, who reported his now 14-year-old son Angelo Graham missing on September 13, 2021, has hired a private investigator to help track down leads and share flyers of the boy on the peninsula.

“I’m trying my best not to shake right now,” Graham said outside of the “Korner Mart” on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News where his private investigators placed a missing poster for his son.

Derrick Graham and investigators with the James City County Police Department believe the boy ran away from home to be with his mother – the father’s ex-wife – who lives in the Newport News area. News 3 Investigates learned the boy’s mother, Lavetta Graham, is a convicted felon. Court records show she spent time in prison for attacking her ex-husband with scissors and dragging his body on the interstate nearly a decade ago. The James City County Police Department said the mother has not expressed concern about her son’s whereabouts.

“If the father’s doing everything he can [to find his son], and the mother who is here in Newport News is not reaching out, to me that’s red flags,” Graham said.

The James City County Police department said investigators have exhausted their efforts to locate the boy, including surveilling the mother’s home and tracking phone records. However, the boy’s father believes investigators could be doing more.

“Find my son by all means,” said the father. “Do whatever you have to do. Find my son.”

News 3 Investigates asked the James City County Police Department about their use of social media to help spread awareness about the boy’s disappearance. After months of inquiries about their use of social media as an investigative tool, the department shared a post this week about Angelo Graham’s disappearance.

While police and the father believe Angelo Graham ran away from home, officials with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children say runaways can still be in danger.

“They run into potential gang recruitment,” said Leemie Kahng-Sofer with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “[They can become] the victims of violence, whether it's physical sexual abuse, homelessness, protracted homelessness, recruitment, [and] child sex trafficking.”

If you know where Angelo Graham could be, take action and call 911 or James City County Police at 757-566-0112.