Man Searches for Daughter, Mother After Katrina Kem Cooper is one more person among the thousands searching for their lost family members after Katrina. He lived in New Orleans, in the Ninth Ward and is now he's in Houston, at the Astrodome. But he does not know where his daughter or her mother are.
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Man Searches for Daughter, Mother After Katrina

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Man Searches for Daughter, Mother After Katrina

Man Searches for Daughter, Mother After Katrina

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Kem Cooper is one more person among the thousands searching for lost family members after Katrina. He lived in New Orleans in the 9th Ward. He drove to a hotel during the hurricane, and now he's in Houston at the Astrodome. But he doesn't know where his daughter is. Before the hurricane, Kem Cooper says, his young daughter, Kim Treese Thompson(ph), was with her mother, Michelle Thompson(ph).

Mr. KEM COOPER (Looking for Daughter): And the last I heard, that they was going in the east by the sister's house 'cause she had a big house where they stayed. It was going in the east out there. That's the last I heard from them.

SIEGEL: You mean she was going to her sister's house in New Orleans?

Mr. COOPER: Yeah.

SIEGEL: And what do you know about the neighborhood where her sister lives and what's happened?

Mr. COOPER: They--oh, they say, `Well, it's in the east in the 9th Ward.' That's where we stayed at. And then all they say, `All that's underwater.'

SIEGEL: It's underwater.

Mr. COOPER: Yeah. And then they stayed, like, around the shelter, like, the shelter where they went to, they even set it on fire. I'm thinking the shelter they probably went to was Avisam High School(ph). And they say--I'm hearing all kinds of--that's something new.

SIEGEL: What did they have at the shelter at the high school?

Mr. COOPER: Avisam High School--they said they had all kinds of deaths there. I'm not sure how true that was, but they said a lot of people died in that school. That's why everybody went in the east that stayed around there.

SIEGEL: Now where did you hear the stories about there having been many deaths at the high school?

Mr. COOPER: Listen, I don't know. Just hearing it from people around, you know, and they--I hearing all kind of rumors of what's going on in New Orleans right now. I don't know how true that is. I'm just going by what I heard.

SIEGEL: Now what have you done to try to locate her since...

Mr. COOPER: I went on e-mail. I went up in here and I left my name on the bulletin boards. I done did everything that these people in the--have you to do. They have the--I got the list of people. I got my name on the list.

SIEGEL: Now there's a list that the American Red Cross has...

Mr. COOPER: I just come from there. That's where I just come from. I done it, like, three days ago. They gave me an e-mail address and all that.

SIEGEL: How old is your daughter?

Mr. COOPER: Eighteen--well, she be 19 months on the 2nd of September.

SIEGEL: Nineteen months. Was there anybody else who helped her mother care for her?

Mr. COOPER: Well, her mother.

SIEGEL: So your daughter's grandmother also.

Mr. COOPER: Yeah.

SIEGEL: OK.

Mr. COOPER: I'm hoping that they're all together.

SIEGEL: Is her grandmother named Thompson?

Mr. COOPER: No. Her last name's Williams, Williams.

SIEGEL: And what's her first name, the grandmother?

Mr. COOPER: Bobbi.

SIEGEL: Excuse me?

Mr. COOPER: Bobbi.

SIEGEL: Bobbi Williams?

Mr. COOPER: Yeah.

SIEGEL: Have you tried all these names already? I mean, have you been asking the Red Cross for help with all of it?

Mr. COOPER: Yeah. They just looked. They just looked. They found some Bobbi--the closest I seen on there, they had a Bobbi Williams and a Michelle Thompson, but their ages--I don't know if they probably got that mixed up. It's `born in '65,' and my baby's mother's not that old. The ages, like--but they had a Bobbi Williams and a Michelle Thompson. They just know they're somewhere in Baton Rouge. It's like the closest I come to their names.

SIEGEL: Did you--and you say the birth dates are wrong.

Mr. COOPER: Birth dates are wrong.

SIEGEL: Do you know if they have any relatives in another city who...

Mr. COOPER: No, that's what I was wondering. They do--she has a sister in Atlanta, and, you know, I'm thinking that's probably the first place where they tried to go. They have a sister in Atlanta, but I don't know her. All I know is her sister's name is Damika(ph). I don't know her last name. I don't know nothing about where she's staying in Atlanta.

SIEGEL: Have you been able to locate any mutual friends that you have, anybody who might have seen her after...

Mr. COOPER: Everybody--don't nobody--nobody's seen them. Nobody I know has seen them. That's what's killing me. I have people seeing some--all kind of other people. They seen this person, that person. Nobody saw my daughter. My mother, my grandmother, my cousins, my aunts--I got in touch with all of them, but none of them--nobody knows where Kim Treese is.

SIEGEL: Kem Cooper spoke to us from the Astrodome in Houston. He's looking for his daughter, Kim Treese Thompson; her mother, Michelle Thompson and Michelle's mother, Bobbi Williams.

MELISSA BLOCK (Host): You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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