No FBI cold-case inquiry for missing civil rights pioneer

FILE - This December 1938 file photo shows Lloyd Gaines who vanished in 1939 after winning a historic legal fight to attend the University of Missouri’s law school as its first black student. Descendants of Gaines had hoped an FBI cold-case initiative focusing on possible racially motivated deaths from the civil rights era would generate clues about his disappearance. But FBI records obtained by The Associated Press show that his was not among the more than 110 cases reviewed under a Department of Justice initiative and the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. (AP Photo/File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Descendants of a man who vanished after winning a historic legal fight to become the first black student at the University of Missouri’s law school had hoped an FBI cold-case initiative focusing on possible racially motivated deaths from the civil rights era would unearth clues about his disappearance.

But federal records obtained by The Associated Press and subsequent interviews show that Lloyd Gaines’ disappearance in 1939 was not among the more than 110 cases reviewed between 2006 and at least 2013 under a Department of Justice initiative and the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

It’s a pattern familiar to Gaines’ family – the FBI twice declined requests in 1940 and 1970 to help find Gaines, who was 28 and last seen leaving a Chicago boardinghouse.

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