Brenda Jackson- Missing Veteran and Mother of Six

brenda jackson

In light of all the media hype of missing University of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, I was reminded of the so-called disappearance of Brenda Jackson 31, of Park Forest, Illinois, just two-a-half years ago. If you look hard enough, you’ll maybe find a total of ten articles with a few words dedicated to the sad, disgusting and painfully obvious cause of her disappearance. In a press conference yesterday, Kevin Winker, Director of Investigative Operations for the Iowa Department of Public Safety stated that, “30 to 40 full-time investigators are working to find Mollie Tibbetts”. Mollie’s family and Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa announced that a reward fund has raised over $300,000 for information on her whereabouts. I hope they find Mollie, but we already know that the outcome is not good. While some are already suggesting predatory serial killers and suburban human trafficking cartels, I vehemently urge law enforcement to look closer.

So should you.

For those of you who have daughters, sisters, female cousins and friends, statistically speaking- your female loved ones has a far greater chance of being victims of domestic violence and/or rape, than being abducted by some lunatic while jogging. The ugly truth is, one-in-four women will be in a violent relationship in her lifetime(keyword is relationship, not “occurrence” as father’s rights attorneys peddle on TV), one-in-five women will be raped and one-in-three will be the victims of sexual violence, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Chances your loved one will be abducted by a stranger? About one-in-300,000. Now let’s dig deeper for a moment, because statistics is just the surface. What is far worse, is when women are multiracial, the chance of sexual violence increases to nearly one-in-two, or a little easier to understand- half. Let’s face it. America today, despite her racism and ever growing divisive rhetoric being spewed by swamp draining provocateurs, many of our women are now multiracial. What is sad? Half of them will experience sexual violence, domestic violence? Even more.

Why does it matter, when Mollie Tibbetts is missing?

It matters, because if you write down the three most important women in your life, one likely has suffered from sexual violence. If you write down four, one likely has been raped. Write down five, one has been or currently is in, a violent relationship. If she’s multiracial, those statistics are amplified significantly. What we fail to realize when we sit on our phones, at our desks or even in our cozy beds- a woman who is raped or abused, will experience rape and violence again. Yes gentlemen, a woman who is raped is likely to be victimized over and over. Worse? You know them. You love them.

You ignore them and so does everybody else, unless they are worthy victims, like Mollie Tibbets.

The mainstream media “Missing White Girl Syndrome” has once again carefully crafted another worthy ‘front page victim‘, with 24/7 coverage of the wholesome, small town pretty college student from Iowa, who on her nightly run with her FitBit suddenly vanishes into thin air. Even worse, one evening on one of the Big Three down to the second media conglomerates, there was nothing left for the panel of network analysts to further speculate or debate. With such limited information available, still, they just couldn’t squeeze a single drop of blood from this damn turnip. I was almost certain they were ready to take a shot debating the paranormal. Suddenly the host breaks from the panel to introduce some random Wall Street analyst, perhaps this was a segue into a finance segment? Yes, finally? After a brief introduction, without expressing his personal opinions on Tibbetts’ disappearance, he gives his obligatory condolences to the family and hopes that she is found safe and sound. Then proceeds to tell viewers about how “Fitbit shares fell over a dollar since her disappearance”.

Ultimately what bothers me, despite not one shred of evidence suggesting foul play, law enforcement considers Mollie Tibbetts an “endangered missing person”. Now common sense tells us all, unless encompassing conspiracy theories from the fringe where mere suggestions is bonafide evidence of her connections to the Delphi suspect or she got snagged by a Chupacabra, that Mollie Tibbetts was either abducted by a stranger or killed by someone who knew her.

Brenda Jackson, 31, mother of six and Iraq War veteran has been missing since January 3, 2016, from Park Forest, Illinois. Her children range in age from one to eleven years old. Unfortunately, Brenda Jackson is another sad and troubling example of an unworthy missing person case in the eyes of the media and much worse, law enforcement.

Why? Likely because we don’t like abused women. She chose to stay with her abuser for awhile didn’t she?

Brenda would be 33 today(31 when she went missing), she served in the US Army and is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. She is Hispanic- about 5 feet tall and 125 pounds. Brenda has a scar on her upper chest. She has star tattoos on both sides of her neck, “Michael” tattooed on her inner wrist and heart tattoo on her ring finger.

Four months prior to her disappearance in August of 2016, Cook County Family Court Judge Bonita Coleman did something I believe all judges should do, when Brenda had once again refused to press charges against Antonio Jackson for another domestic violence incident, Judge Coleman ruled that all six of her children were wards of the state and awarded custody to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS). In the best interest of the children, Maria and Joel Gonzalez were allowed to take care of five of Brenda’s children, while the sixth went to live with his father in Texas. While in the custody of DCFS, Brenda did have supervised visits at her parents, however, Antonio Jackson was to have no contact with them.

After Brenda Jackson lost custody, she then separated from Antonio and got her own place. Antonio Jackson was furious. Then in October she made a giant leap and filed for divorce. Most people who have experience with abusers and victims, know the power that abusers have over their victims, that often control the victim’s family as well. He would threaten suicide, beg, cry, berate, harass and stalk Brenda. Just to appease her abuser, she would tell him, “she also wants to work it out, but she needed to get her kids back”, according to sources.

Abusers know how to overwhelm their victims.

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Brenda Jackson, solider in the United States Army. She served a tour in Iraq.

On January 3, 2016, at 9:00 p.m. her father Joel dropped her off at her house at 240 Arcadia St., where she lived alone. “We said, Goodbye. I love you honey. I will see you tomorrow,” recalled her father Joel Gonzalez. Around 10:30 p.m., her mother Maria Gonzalez spoke to Brenda on her cell phone and nothing seemed unusual.

She failed to report to work at the food service department at Rich South High School in Richton Park, Il. She was scheduled to be in at 5 a.m. She was never seen again. Her purse, credit cards, cell phone and even her coat was still in her house. The last call on her phone was when she spoke to her mother.

Brenda was reported missing two days later by her husband Antonio Jackson and her mother Maria Gonzalez on January, 5, 2016. Her husband Antonio has an extensive history of domestic violence. Oddly enough, when Brenda’s mother told Antonio she was about to report Brenda missing, he told to wait because he wanted to speak with her first, then go with her to the police station. Abusers want to be portrayed in the best light possible and control the narrative. We can be certain that Maria Gonzalez wasn’t pointing her finger at Antonio during the initial Missing Person report, because he was right there.

Brenda’s mother Maria Gonzalez, as much as it pains her to admit it, told the Chicago Tribune [when asked if she believes her daughter is alive], “No, I don’t. My husband does but I, as a mother, and I just want closure. I want somebody to just tell me this is where she’s at, put it to rest so her children can have closure. So we can have closure.”

Brenda’s mother, said eight days after Brenda disappeared, she got an anonymous call from someone who told her she might find her daughter at a Cook County forest preserve which is close to her house. She told the Park Forest Police Department. In a strange twist, Deputy Police Chief Christopher Mannino said police are following up on a variety of leads, including a tip that Jackson was recently spotted in Chicago. So therefore, they didn’t quite take the Cook County Forest Preserve call too seriously.

On January, 21, 2016, just two-and-a-half weeks after her disappearance, Brenda Jackson’s five children were removed from the home of Maria and Joel Gonzalez, their grandparents, because they violated court order that included “a safety plan that keeps the kids away from their father and granted Jackson supervised visits”. Cook County Family Court Judge, the public guardian and DCFS agreed the home in unincorporated Cook County was no longer an appropriate placement.

“I can’t understand,” Maria Gonzalez said. “[DCFS reports] say these kids are in a loving, happy, environment. If you say that in your reports, then why are you taking these kids and putting them with strangers?”

According to DCFS in an official statement to NBC 5 Chicago, “we have concerns about [the grandparents] willingness to accept the severity of the dynamics of this case and the impact this has on their ability to provide a safe home for the children. Therefore we’ll be moving the children to a home that can ensure the safety and well-being of the children long term”.

The day after the children were removed from the home, Maria Gonzalez told CBS 2 Chicago that she’s afraid, “her stormy marriage may be at the root of her disappearance”.

“This just is not like her because her kids meant everything to her,” said Maria Gonzalez.

Last week, I was told via email by a friend of the family, “the only reason why Maria and Joel allowed Antonio to come over and see his kids, was they believed he had something to do with Brenda’s disappearance and they though by keeping him close they would get clues to what he did with her”

At a press conference in July of 2017, a reporter asked Chief of the Park Forest Police Department Pete Green is he thought she was alive. “We have no information to lead us to believe that (it’s a homicide), he said and surmised, “Those drastic thoughts loom in your head, but we’re hopeful she will be found. There are many cases where the people were found years later and eventually come home.”

Maria Gonzalez, however, suspects foul play. After the press conference, she told the Chicago Tribune, “You don’t leave home in the middle of winter with no coat, no shoes and no ID,” she said. Brenda Jackson is an Iraq War veteran[sic], “a very strong girl who would never run from anything, and it was highly unlikely she would leave her children”, she said.

While she may have been one of those women who didn’t show up for court after charges were pressed again the narcissistic yet ever so charming hell of a nice guy husband or testified with some lame excuse about “falling down the stairs”, Brenda was actively taking the final steps(although very slowly like most women who are abused), to leave her husband. What is a damn shame and the Park Forest Police should have known better, is that research indicates that women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by their batterers than those who stay. In fact, most police agencies are now taught to take “Lethality Assessments” when dealing with victims of domestic violence, not only for the current situation they are in, but in any and all future interactions with that couple. If an abuser often uses threats of suicide or violence in order to control his victim, there is a significant probably he will attempt to murder the victim when she is finally separating from him.

I’m sure smart-asses, the “technically speaking” crowd and those who are very ignorant of domestic violence will say, ‘she could be alive or just ran off with another man’, he’s presumed innocent. Sorry folks, we know for a fact that Antonio Jackson is a narcissistic sociopath who abused his wife frequently (it has been established by the courts).

For Park Forest Police to assume based on an unreliable witness sighting that she’s alive and well, is gross incompetence and in the modern era, with everything we know now about domestic violence, dereliction of duty.

The Park Forest Police just don’t care folks, that’s all there is to it.

This past Christmas season, Brenda’s mother Maria Gonzalez told NBC 5 CHICAGO, “Every time I hear somebody is missing, I want to call them because I know what they are going through,” Gonzalez then spoke about hardships of her grandchildren when she gets to see them, “We didn’t have a Christmas. There was no Christmas,” she said. Maria then said, “They kept asking her and their grandfather Joel, ‘Where’s mom? When’s mom going to come to get us?”

This is a sad case and it’s shameful. I suspect the reason while police and the community has not rallied and raised $300,000 is solely based on the fact that Brenda Jackson is the victim of domestic violence and to this day, we blame them for not “pressing charges: or “leaving their abuser”. In a couple message boards that briefly discuss this case, there is a lot of anger directed at Brenda Jackson. While I understand their anger that likely is a reflection of the police and community’s inaction and attitude toward’s this case, Brenda Jackson knew something they all don’t quite understand and neither do we.

She knew her life was in significant danger when she took steps to leave her abuser. She was a strong woman who began doing what everyone thought she should do but very carefully and her fear came true.

When a woman tells you that her boyfriend or husband will kill her, LISTEN. She’s not lying. It’s not just some mind game that he convinced her would happen, but has no intent on carrying out. Damn it, when a woman tells you “he will kill me”, she knows better than any of us.

A $3,000 reward is being offered for information about Jackson. Just $3,000?

Anyone with information is asked to call Park Forest police at (708) 748-1309

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3 thoughts on “Brenda Jackson- Missing Veteran and Mother of Six

  1. Please help me find my mother, I am the oldest of the 6 kids. I live with my father and I just want her to come home. If anyone has any new information about her. Please call my her mother, or my Grandma Kika Gonzalez, 708-748-0526

  2. Thank you for writing this detailed article on my dear friend Brenda. This article highlights the true reality of her case being ignored and neglected in my opinion. Why is Brenda’s story not being broadcasted to the fullest extent, especially during these patriotic holidays? She is one of the brave who served our country and risked her own life. We all need to come together and bring Brenda home to her children & parents where she belongs. I grew up with her and I know what a loving, caring, and beautiful person she is. Not one Day goes by that I don’t worry or think of her. I am willing to dedicate my time and energy to assist Brenda’s family in attempting to bring her story to life again. Together we can bring awareness to the severity of domestic violence and all the brutal and very possible outcomes of falling victim to it. Brenda we all love you and we won’t stop trying to bring you home. I love you always, Lauren Vasquez.

    1. Did Brenda have any issues from her service in the U.S. Army. Also, was she getting any treatment from the VA. I wonder if she suffered from PTSD, which could have lead to her disappearance.

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