Wichita, KS

Vanished in the Middle of the Night: What happened to Jaquilla Scales?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

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Jaquilla ScalesThe Charley Project

Eureka Scales was a 14-year-old mother to two children.

Because of her age, she asked her grandmother, Mattie Mitchell aka Big Mama, to take custody of her daughter, 4-year-old Jaquilla.

Eureka’s grandparents raised her after her mother died of sickle cell anemia when she was 8-years old.

According to the Charley Project, Eureka, her two-year-old son, daughter Jaquilla, two uncles, and grandmother Mattie lived in the same house at 1618 block of North Volutsia Street in Wichita, Kansas.

On the night of September 3, 2001, the day before her first day of pre-school, Jaquilla asked Eureka if she could stay at the house of Eureka's aunt, who lived nearby.

Eureka told Jaquilla to ask Big Mama, but Jaquilla said Big Mama was asleep.

Eureka told Jaquilla she could go on over to the house.

Eureka then took her son next door, where his grandmother lived (remember, Big Mama is his GREAT- grandmother), and Eureka went to stay at the home of a friend on 13th and Grove.

She stayed for two nights.

Big Mama made sure Jaquilla went to pre-school the next day, on September 4, 2001.

Early in the morning, on September 5, 2001, the police went to the house Eureka stayed the night and asked her if she had Jaquilla or knew where she was.

Eureka told them she thought Jaquilla was with Big Mama.

But Big Mama, as it turned out, was the one who called 911 at 4:06 am the morning of September 5, 2001. She said that she woke up and one of her grandchildren was missing.

Big Mama said she last saw Jaquilla at 9:30 pm, her bedtime, the night prior.

Jaquilla was wearing a flowered nightshirt, as reported by KWCH.

There were no signs of forced entry into the home.

However, the back door of the house was broken and unable to lock.

The family advised their dog, a chow named Bay Bay, did not bark during the night and would have barked at a stranger.

The family said the dog even barked at them.

“Who would just want to, just takes a child? Comes into my grandmother's back door and take her... for what? What did she do? What did I do? You know. I don't understand,” her mother, Eureka Scales told KAKE ABC.

Immediately after Jaquilla’s disappearance, the Kansas Department of Social Services removed Jaquilla’s younger brother from their home.

The department advised the living conditions were a concern, as well as Jaquilla’s disappearance.

Eureka was able to gain custody of her son in 2004, three years later.

Jaquilla has never been found.

Jaquilla was 3’0” and weighed 40 pounds when she vanished.

Please contact the Wichita Police Department at 316-268-4646 with any information.

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