It is with a heavy heart that I report that Nikki McPhatter was found dead this past weekend. Authorities found a body that was shot in the head and burned beyond recognition in a vehicle matching the description of her car in Richland County, SC, 100 miles outside of Charlotte.
Authorities arrested Theodore Roosevelt Manning, IV (Teddy) in connection with her death. Apparently McPhatter had met Manning online and had begun dating him. She allegedly went to SC to break off the relationship because she found him to be too controlling. Manning was arrested at his home and charged in connection with the murder.
While locating McPhatter’s body brings closure to her friends and family who fought valiantly to get her story into the press, it speaks volumes about the prevalence of domestic violence in our community and the double standard in the amount of coverage that missing Black women receive in the media.
When Bonnie Sweeten called the police and told them that she and her daughter had been abducted by a Black man following a traffic incident, the police and media were all over it. Before even investigating the claim, it was all over the news and media outlets. The Today Show interviewed Sweeten’s distressed ex-husband, and the national media ran the story repeatedly.
It turns out that Sweeten lied and had actually taken her daughter on a trip to Disney World. Never mind that she blamed a Black man, or that she tied up local, state and federal police officers, but the fact that this White woman could get this type of attention, while Nikki McPhatter’s case — a real missing person case I might add — is ridiculous.
It is truly shameful. People have already started making excuses for Sweeten’s behavior but there is no excuse for the lack of national media coverage for McPhatter’s case.
Perhaps authorities may have found her before she was killed? Before her body was burned beyond recognition? Before nearly a month passed with barely any coverage.
It is indeed a sad day on many fronts.