Family of missing Suffolk man trying to stop gang and youth violence

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Law enforcement, community leaders, and the family of a Suffolk man who disappeared in 2015, are working together to stop crime and violence in the community.

30-year-old Quantez Russell went missing in November of 2015.

“It’s been really tough. Everyday, I think about my baby, all throughout the day,” says Russell’s mother Joan Turner.

Turner says her son was involved with gangs and believes it had something to do with his disappearance.

“We’re hoping because of this forum we will help someone who’s son or young person will be able to help pull them away from it,” Turner says.

Turner says she saw signs of gang affiliation when Russell was a pre-teen.

“Me being a CSI for 20 and being in law enforcement for 25 years, I didn’t see my son doing this,” she says.

It’s why she’s encouraging other parents and relatives to get involved in kids lives early on.

“That’s why I want to put this out there so parents will know to get kids to do something positive. Just have fun. That’s what kids like to be about just having fun. Enjoying life,” she says.

Suffolk Sheriff E.C. Harris says his department is working to curb gang and youth violence before it happens by getting deputies into schools.

“We’re losing them in elementary schools, I think. That’s where we need to engage them and let them know we’re here for them,” Harris says.

Suffolk Public Schools superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney says the visits by law enforcement helps familiarize students with officers.

“In some cases, they come in to say hello, good morning. That allows kids to become comfortable with law enforcement and in turn they report things when they see something,” Whitney says.

If you have any information about Russell’s disappearance, contact the Suffolk Police Department.