The Mystique of Missing Persons


I am continually in awe of families who experience  a prolonged period of missing their loved one without a tangible outcome.  This includes missing their physical presence, their emotional being, their smell, their place in the family structure, their contributions and memories that  help make up the special family tapestry.

Prior to my Dad’s homicide in April 1981, he was also missing, but only for a short time. The word “only” is not meant to be insignificant, for it was truly torturous for us for a night and a day, being thrust into the world of  the unknown …and then the reality of homicide! However, this is NOT the usual scenario,

Regardless of what TV or real detectives say, many people actually do not return in a day or two. In fact, the numbers are astounding- nearly 650,000 annually go missing for extended periods and never return or are never recovered.  Although some inroads have been made, as a general rule, media does not focus on this topic. Rather, it is left to the survivors who have strength, conviction, energy and skills to carry the message along with grass root non-profit organizations such as the CUE Center for Missing Persons, proudly celebrating 25 years of dedicated all volunteer multi-tiered services.

It is a surreal experience, a state of suspended animation (the temporary cessation of most vital functions without death), like constantly “waiting for the other shoe to drop,” “Being on tenterhooks” (A state of constant tension, uneasiness, anxiety, or suspense, i.e. figuratively stretched like the cloth on the tenter.)

Your world as you know it just ceases to exist and there is no roadmap to help you!

You live for each minute, hour, day, month, marking time until that key piece of information comes to unlock the mystery, if it comes. In 2019, advances in DNA technology and age progression, fingerprint technologies , as examples   have proved to be immensely helpful to some cases that have been solved after decades of lying dormant.

I am thrilled for the families when this occurs. However, my logic tells me that sometimes, such advances can lead to unrealistic expectations, especially for the most vulnerable families who cannot navigate this very traumatic experience. 

Of the many kernels of wisdom,what the CUE Center’s Founder, Monica Caison imparts, is a sense of hope, providing family support and giving them purposeful activities that are needed, but also does not compromise the investigation when one operates on sheer emotion alone after a person goes missing. 

Although not a writer by profession, Monica possesses considerable insight, honed by years of experience. Many of these “pearls of wisdom” have been documented in the form of quotes over the years.  From the extensive quote list, here are a few to ponder…

“ Every missing person is someone’s child,”

“ They say there’s justice for all, but they just never talk about the wait.”

“The simple fact that someone has vanished and cannot be accounted for, has to be enough to do something. A missing person does not require the opinions of others;”

“There are always people who will set up roadblocks in your life. Remember, they are not part of our land navigation and only man made, which means they can be removed,”

“Those that remain missing need those of us left behind to be the voice; a voice that can be heard. So, find your passion to help ease the vacancy.”

Power and Safety in Numbers-


The mystique for me is related to the perseverance of families; How they buoy themselves each day; How they self protect and shield; How do they maintain hope when the pendulum hasn’t swung in their direction for so long?  In spite of it all, they “get out there, get their hands and boots dirty”, showing up at another family’s search…. Or, they show up when a siting of a newly located, unidentified person is in their area, and keep vigil- not just for themselves, but for all missing persons. This is one of the many ways  “to keep the flame of hope burning bright” no matter what the outcome!

Such is the case of Christy Davis, of Jacksonville, Florida, mother of Michael Austin Davis. She recently did what a mother would do. She did the courageous work of waiting and hoping along the side of the road and opened her heart to the media.  (Sometimes, it is hope to confirm, no matter what the news, just to have resolution (as opposed to the overused term “closure” that really doesn’t exist in the world of missing persons and homicide.) Sometimes, it is hope to eliminate the possibility that the identity is their loved one, for not knowing does keep the positive flame of hope burning.) 

See this article and Christy’s words-

Such is the story of the missing persons world- So large, 650,000 large, and yet not well known to the public at large. That is part of the mystique. This is the part of the world that must change- the awareness! We are changing it, one person, one family at a time. But, you can help us pick up the pace, for missing persons is truly a silent epidemic that must be exposed, must be cared for, must be helped to bring them home! 

CUE Center for Missing Persons is an all volunteer organization, providing many opportunities for enrichment and involvement. Donations are gratefully accepted. 

Happy 25th  Anniversary, Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons!


Donna R. Gore, “Ladyjustice”

Connecticut State Outreach Coordinator   

CUE Center for Missing Persons

July 2019

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