UPDATE: She finally (after 4 years) decided to return home. PRESS HERE for details.

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By:  Lynn Green

   For the past several months I have been watching and reading about the strange case of Chioma Gray and Andrew Joshua Tafoya. Sometimes I’ll act quickly on a story…but sometimes I just sit back and wait.

I’ve waited this one out long enough now. Here is what is appearing on hundreds of black owned blogs throughout the blogosphere:

a. Chioma Gray was kidnapped at age 15 by Andrew Joshua Tafoya, who was 20 at the time

b. The mainstream media is ignoring the case

c. No one in the mainstream is looking out for Chioma

Let us start with “C”. No one is looking for Chioma. Actually, the FBI has Andrew Tafoya on their wanted list and reported that they believe him to be in Mexico. However, they are not sure, as they have not counted out the fact that he knows he is wanted and therefore, he may be back in the U.S. Realistically, if the FBI knew where this monster was located, don’t you think they would have picked him up by now?

Next, I would like to tackle “B”. There are claims that the mainstream media is ignoring the case. I wonder what they mean by “ignoring”? It does not get more mainstream than America’s Most Wanted and sure enough, this case is right there on their website.

Also, if you run a Google search, you will see hundreds of articles covering this case. In addition, why such attention on the mainstream? If black bloggers cover this story more often than do white media or white bloggers, is it less authoritative because blacks are covering it?

  Now, let’s deal with “A”. Reports indicated that Andrew Joshua Tafoya had kidnapped Chioma Gray. The definition of kidnapping is below:

To steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, esp. for use as a hostage or to extract ransom

Because she was 15 and he was 20, I guess we can call it kidnapping, but….did he really take her by force or did she voluntarily leave with him? Do not misunderstand me here. He was WRONG to date and have sexual relations with a 15 year old child. That is a fact!

It is very, very difficult to get the complete facts leading up to the disappearance. However, I continued to dig until I found an article in the Ventura County Star

Here is how Chioma met her “kidnapper”

Black said her daughter met Tafoya through her son, Chidiebere Okehi. Tafoya and Okehi played football together, first at St. Bonaventure High School. Okehi and Tafoya also played together at Ventura College and were friends, she said.

Black said she first learned of Tafoya’s interest in her daughter when he showed up at a soccer game in which Chioma Gray was participating.

Tafoya was sentenced in late June to 210 days in county jail and 36 months of probation. He was placed on a work furlough program as part of his sentence.

Tafoya was ordered not to have contact with the girl and not to associate with anyone under 18 unless in the presence of a responsible adult, according to the FBI.

But Black said she saw her daughter get out of Tafoya’s car just a day before he was to begin his work furlough program last summer.

Black said she notified Ventura police but that police failed to take any action.

“I would have liked to have seen him sent to prison for this,” Black told reporters.

When asked if Chioma Gray and Tafoya were in a consensual relationship, Allred [lawyer for the family] responded, saying the important issue is that the relationship was illegal since Tafoya was having sex with an underage girl.

Let us stop there, shall we? I agree 100% that Tafoya had no business in a sexual relationship with the 15 year old Chioma. And I am happy that he admitted to and was convicted of unlawful sexual relations with her.

However, the fact that Attorney Allred did not allow Chioma’s mother to respond to whether or not Chioma was voluntarily in a sexual relationship with Chioma says a lot.

Here are the facts:

Chioma met Tafoya through her brother

Chioma was seen by her mother voluntarily getting out of Tafoya’s car

Apparently Ms. Black was unable to get through to her daughter, as her daughter defied her and continued seeing Tafoya even after he was convicted for underage sexual relations with her. Ms. Black had to go to the police. And my guess is that the police did not get too upset over it because it appeared that the girl was voluntarily in a relationship with this older, 20 year old man.

Black bloggers are complaining that no Amber Alert had been issued after she disappeared. The police said that they did not issue it because they believed she left with him voluntarily—therefore, it was not really an authentic kidnapping.

I will say this. Fifteen year old girls are impressionable. My guess is that Andrew Joshua Tafoya was her first crush and perhaps the first guy she has slept with. In her immature mind, he is her Prince Charming.

I remember reading another article where Ms. Black indicated that her daughter never left home without her makeup. Interesting. I was not interested in makeup at 15 and doubt my mother would have allowed me to wear it at that young age. So there are some issues here that black bloggers are ignoring.

Growing up, I had a “fear” of my mother. Not a “scared of her” fear. But a reverential fear. She would not have needed to tell me more than once to stay away from a boy! Hello? I find it interesting that nothing this mother said apparently affected Chioma at all. And so she went to the police for help.

The police cannot solve all of our family problems. They really cannot. The police could lock Andrew Joshua Tafoya up for his illegal sexual relationship with the 15 year old and they did that. However, they could not force this girl to stop seeing him and so she obviously continued seeing him.

I’m about to anger some folks but you all know me. I have got to just be myself and keep it real.

I believe that Chioma’s sexual relationship with Andrew Joshua Tafoya was voluntary. I believe she continued seeing him voluntarily. I believe she schemed to run off with him voluntarily. I believe she is with him at this very moment voluntarily. I believe she is hiding out with him voluntarily. I believe she is still sleeping with him voluntarily. I believe she is on the run with him voluntarily.  I could be wrong but this is my opinion and belief.

My sincere hope is that she does not turn to any illegal or dangerous activity to gain money. I just pray that he does not try to become her pimp. That’s my biggest fear.

Very few criminals will admit to a crime. He actually admitted sleeping with this underage girl. My hope at this point (since she is now 16) is that he actually has fallen in love with her and would never put her out on the street or in harm’s way to earn money to stay on the run. I pray he will never hurt her. Truth is, they can legally marry now in many states so perhaps he will return, do his time, then marry her.

Wishing peace to her family, as I know this must be painful.

Story covered on numerous blogs but a few HERE, HERE, HERE

25 Comments

  1. Lynn,

    I agree with you they both wanted to be together and no one could stop them. That’s why the police have not wasted there man hours pursuing this case. They probably feel it’s a waste of police man hours and tax payer’s money. The money could be used to pursue more pressing cases. This is just my thought on the article.

  2. You know…I’ve remained silent on this story for a long time. I have tried to find any indication of her being kidnapped. I just don’t see it. She met him through her brother. Started seeing him and sleeping with him. In her mind she fell in love. And she (in my belief) ran away with him.

  3. I wasn’t familiar with this story until just now reading about and don’t believe she was kidnapped either. She reminds me of someone I went to high school with who was involved with a much older man. Her family disapproved of the relationship and she wound up running off to another state with the man so they could be together.

    I recently heard through a mutual friend of ours who attended the same school, that they are still together… are happily married and have 3 children together.

    Hopefully there will be a happy ending to this story as well, but I honestly don’t believe she was kidnapped by this man.

  4. The Mom noticed the young man and also the police officer and neither one said or did anything. If those two weren’t very concern I guess that’s an indication it’s just two young people who want to be together regardless of the cost. I just hope this situation turns out for the best.

  5. Lynn, thanks for taking the time to get this story straight.
    (mainstream media and bloggers take note)
    I had never heard this story and I agree, she could have run off with the guy. I know of several under aged girls that fool around with grown men – and in some cases the girls were the seducers. (This does not excuse the ADULT that should know better) I pray that all works out for this young lady.
    Lady D~

  6. I want to THANK YOU for finally shedding some light intelligently. I know both of these kids…and I say kids because although Josh (we call him Josh) was 20 at the time, he was still a kid. As for Chioma, she is a little girl, but VERY mature for her age, I’ve known her for years she played sports with my daughter. I’ve had conversations with this child, and she was much more mature than the average 14 year old at the time. That being said she is still a child and what has happened is terrible…but bottom line is she went willingly. Those 2 dated for a VERY long time, Chioma left because she WANTED to. which brings me to my next issue; her mother, that woman is something else, it’s no wonder that little girl wanted to leave. Happy children don’t run away, that’s a fact, and since Josh didn’t kidnap her, people should really stop and think about that!

  7. Welcome to Hicktown Knowthem. Thanks for the report. I hope they are both safe and sound.

  8. Thanks for stopping in and shedding even more light on this, “Knowthemboth”.

    Lynn

  9. If what KnowThemBoth says is true, then it’s a shame that this young man’s life if going to be ruined when the authorities catch up with him. He will more than likely have to register as a sex offender and he can forget about ever being able to go to a public university or get a decent job. This is just sad all the way around.

  10. If they have gone to some state that would consider her to be of age to consent and they perhaps have gotten married, he may not have a problem.

  11. He’ll still have a problem because he is a convicted child molester (he was convicted of underage sex with her and admitted to it). He was ordered to stay away from her. So yes, he is looking at some time.

  12. The truth of the matter is all these people are right even the writer she fell in love with him, The people who know the mother knows she would not allow this relationship because of his color. Chioma left because she was tired of being ran and controlled by her evil mother perhaps that is a harsh word but the mother is satan herself people who know her know how she is a fraud and uses people perhaps this is her karma for all she has done to people in life. Im glad her daugther moved away maybe now she has a chance to live a normal life. Im sure her and Andrew are very happy together mother get over it you know they were in love remember the arguement and lies you told your daugther the nite before she ran off with him…………you should be ashamed of yourself for using her as an excuse like you do .

  13. NOTE: For the record, this blog is not taking a stance of attack against the mother, as we understand how she must be hurting. We cannot substantiate any of the statements or accusations in “evilmother’s” comments, particularly that they were arguing before she ran off or even that the two of them are in love. Or that the mother was against him b/c he was Hispanic. I also cannot say that the mother is “satan”. One would have to be pretty evil to be thus classified. My belief is that the mother acting as any normal mother would who did not want her teen daughter having sex, particularly with a grown man. And my heart goes out to the mother who must be heart brokien that she has not heard from her child and does not know if she is alive or dead.

  14. do you have any new information on this?

  15. Mark, no new information.

    If anyone hears anything, my hope is that they will share here.

  16. I saw this story on Nancy Grace the other night and was just devastated. It’s the first I’d heard of it. I moved from Ventura several years ago.
    I knew Josh when he was a little boy. I sat there listening to all these “experts” refer to him as a crazed animal. I do not believe it for one second!
    The Tafoya family are some of the greatest human beings I have ever met. It looks as if these two young people made some dumb choices in the name of love but Josh Tafoya is no monster.
    The Tafoya’s and Josh are wonderful people. Clearly he made a bad choice but I’d stake everything I have on the fact that that kid is not holding her against her will. She needs to come home and clear up what really happened.
    God Bless the Tafoya’s and these kids.

  17. Do you know I just found out about this story today from a link on the CNN website showcasing it on Nancy Grace. Then I googled it, as we often do these days) and see that her name is plastered over the net in a lot of blogs and non-mainstream websites such as this one that I’ve never seen before …. then stopped at your site today to read what the story was about …. getting your conservative POV.

    I do appreciate your breakdown and outlook on the case and I agree with you … from what I read here … it does seem Chioma left with the boyfriend willing and this is a runaway case. I see she was missing since 2007 at 15 … she’s now of adult age (if she is alive) and there’s nothing more to it. Because she ran away, many people likely saw that in the story also and downplayed it’s seriousness.

    Which is a crime against the frantic mother, of course … but that’s to be expected.

    The only thing wrong with your article is your cynical perspective on race websites and the attention the story was given to ‘mainstream media’. I had to double back and wonder what kind of website I fell into. Still can’t tell without erasing this comment until I’m finished, but I’m looking at ‘Black’ targeted articles like “Jay-Z Sings to lucifer and asks God to “forgive him” and “IS Jesse Jackson, Jr. Candidate #5? and a poll about Michelle Obama ….

    Race, race, race, race …. and other counter-gay stories …. so I must have fell upon angry quote-unquote ‘subtle white power’ blog under the guise of conservative republican. So fine …it’s your site … do as you please. That’s not the focus on my comment.

    However, keep this in mind. I’m going to name a few names and tell me if they come to mind automatically:

    Elizabeth Smart
    Phylicia Barnes
    Natalie Holloway

    In harmony with your site, I’ll remind you Phylicia is Black … but it doesn’t matter. Race doesn’t matter … but I’m just trying to make you happy by bringing it up.

    All three women are or were missing and all three women were not ignored in real media … not just smaller blogs like this and other cultures. You have to understand, not everyone is connected to the internet 24/7 and get their news from only three-four news stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or a show like Americas Most wanted).

    Unless the information is provided to the people through those stations and shows, nobody will know or think to search for a missing person they didn’t hear about. Again, this case happened in 2007 and I’m just finding out about it and I think I’m fairly web/media savvy. Lol….apparently not.

    So my point is … none of those major media venues showcased Chioma’s story like the top three cases above. In fact, god forbid you ever have a missing child, you will NEVER believe the world is doing enough particularly the top four venues.

    But we all know they only have time for so many stories and, to the point of Black blogs, it just so happens the top news venues has more time for ‘one’ high profile missing case and it always happens to be someone ‘white’. Unless you are the family of Phylicia Barnes and FORCE the case into the news and to that I commend them.

    But I can go into stats and figures about missing people on both sides of the racial divide and for as many white missing people there are as many black missing people and not everyone gets in the news. They just can’t.

    Still, I need you to realistically recount high profile missing cases that made the news (main news … with Tom Brokaw or Brian Williams etc) and you tell me the race of each one over the past 10 years and you’ll find it disproportionate.

    That’s just an explanation with other sites are concerned. So instead of spending a whole article trying to tear them down for being upset, why don’t you offer an article on how people can get their missing children on major media … for ANY race.

    But then, damn … helping others isn’t quite the conservative pov. Generally speaking, they should find a way to get things done themselves.

    If being conservative website means constantly being cynical about other cultures, races and so forth with nothing constructive to offer to it’s readers who are tired of hearing about race and gay issues … then I wonder what this site was talking about during the Reign of Bush those past eight years? Did you love him? Hate him? How do you feel about the Iraq war and the current revelations about no WMD’s? You know … constructive ‘in race’ point of views.

    LOL…I’m sure it’s here somewhere. Gotta go and find your archive link and check it out. But with a site called Hicktown Press … I just don’t know.

  18. Tristam, I’m going to end your torture by banning you.

    Twiddle dee….

  19. All I can say about “Tristam” is WOW!!! Seems to be some underlying anger there. It really pisses me off when people “stereotype” others based on their skin color!! I appear to be “white” but in reality I am Native American and German. I happen to teach at an inner-city high school where the demographics are extremely skewed….only 3% white, and if you speak with those seemingly white students you will find they are actually half “something else” they just APPEAR white. I’ve worked with these kids for 9 years and love them dearly. I would go out on a limb for any of them and if even one of them came up missing this “white” lady would definately hoot and hollar until it was on Nancy Grace, America’s Most Wanted and the prime time news!!! Didn’t your mom ever teach you not to judge a book by it’s cover?!

    As for this article about Chioma Gray, I totally agree with the writer. I remember being 16 and thinking I knew what was best for me, dating this “stoner guy.” My parents threw a fit and that just made me want to see him MORE!!! Looking back, still being in contact with my ex-beau, I now see what my parents saw way back then (okay, it wasn’t THAT long ago! LOL!) and I am so grateful that I didn’t stay with him! My point is, when we’re young and impresionable we tend to follow our hearts. We dont’ have the experience of life yet so yes, I do believe this young lady willingly ran away. My heart goes out to the mom as I have two daughters, 21 and 23, and I know if I thought they had done this I would publicly plead with them to contact me.

    Wishing good thoughts for the family and praying this young lady is safe.

  20. JustAnObserverInTexas

    After reading all of the information out there on the WWW I have to say that if she is alive and well her mother will likely never see her again. And, I believe that she is alive and well. And probably a mother to her own child or children.

    She is now old enough to do as she pleases. And if she is with him, and pregnant (as her mother’s pi claims) arresting the father of her child is not going to mend any fences.

    I think that her mother needs to admit the truth and stop saying that she would not have considered him a boyfriend. And by she, I mean Cho Cho. We all know that teens make silly choices. But sometimes they will make a choice that seems silly to us, but is deep within their heart. And there is such a thing as true love. I hope that is what she has. I hope that her child(ren) are happy. I hope that they live a long and happy life (Cho Cho, Josh and any and all of the children they have or may have).

    Who does she turn to if she grows and matures and finds that he is not the man of her dreams? Does she return home to a mother in denial that those dreams ever existed? Does she bring her children from that failed love home to a grandmother that hates their father? Or does she live under the radar, scraping by and never having much? What will she do then?

    Chioma’s mother needs to consider the damage she may be doing to Chioma. If she made a mistake in choosing to go with an older man then forgive her. And if she is an adult now and still with him, then forgive him. And maybe then Chioma will want to have contact. Maybe then she will want to have grandparents for her child(ren). But regardless of any arrest that ever comes about for Josh, she never has to have contact with them again.

    Though she left a child, as a woman the police cannot force her back to mommy. Nor can they divulge where she is. She has rights too. As an adult, she now has the right to privacy. No attorney her mother hires will change that. And a private investigator may find her, but that is it. He cannot make her go back. All she has to do is call the police to make him go away. And move again. To force her home would just be a charge of kidnapping for someone.

    Sometimes we do not like the choices our children make. But forcing them into worse decisions rather than loving them anyway and accepting their mates can not only cut that apron string, it can burn the whole apron.

    And I have read that she may have wanted to return to the states to have her child. If this is true and they have come to Texas then welcome! Should I ever come across them I would let them be. Only spousal abuse or child abuse would make me think about turning Josh in. After all, Chioma has committed no crime.

  21. The mainstream media does ignore Black cases.John Walsh and Nancy Grace are exceptions to the rule.

  22. I just want to let all of you know that Chioma and Josh have just arrived at LAX. I can confirm that Chioma was in a consensual relationship with Josh. She loved him and left with him willingly. I will say that a big reason of why she left was to get away from her mother. It’s sad that a child has to go to that extent to get away from her mother but her mother really is something else. Not to mention that the only reason her mother has filed all these lawsuits is not because of her concern for her daughter or her anger but simply just to get some money out of it. She’s known the two were in Mexico all along and a PI she hired had even found them. I’m not trying to bash the mother but this is jet so you all can see that Josh is not harmful he loved her and he wanted to take his girlfriend away from an unhappy home.

  23. Thanks for the update. However…..

    You cannot make what the two of them did right on ANY level.

    All of us have imperfect mothers. But at her age, her HOT behind should not have been dating or screwing around and children are to OBEY their parents. That’s scripture.

  24. I could not agree more with Lynn. I am so grateful that Josh is back! Hopefully the courts see his innocence in all of this. It’s a love Story not a kiddnapping!

  25. I can’t imagine the humiliation of being hauled to the police station for a gyno. exam and panties tested for dna. Chioma’s mother saying that she suffers from stockholm syndrome is so bizarre. Chioma was WAY too young but the two could truly be in love. It happened to me at age 15, boyfriend 21. We never married but 42 years later we talk on the phone and remember our true love. He’s dying of cancer and I’m so glad to be able to talk to him again. Chioma’s mother was wrong to go to such extremes in my opinion. Chioma will marry him and suffer because of sex offender status, lawsuits, ptsd, and no telling what else. Happy girls don’t run away.