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Missing white woman syndrome (MWWS) is the disproportionate degree of coverage in television, radio, newspaper and magazine reporting of an adversity, most often a missing person case, involving a young, white, upper-middle class (frequently blonde) woman or girl.
This degree of coverage is usually contrasted with cases concerning a missing male, or missing females of other ethnicities, socioeconomic classes or physical attractiveness.
While the disappearances of Laci Peterson and Natalee Holloway became sensational news stories, a pregnant black/Hispanic woman named La Toyia Figueroa disappeared from Philadelphia three years later and attracted less national attention, despite efforts by her family to enlist the media to help find her. (Figueroa was later found murdered.) One observer also saw contrasts between the attention received by Peterson and Evelyn Hernadez who was nine months pregnant when she disappeared in 2002
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