Missing for an Hour or for Years, My Personal Nightmare 

 

528497_10150929999073032_550667260_n

When people try to wrap their heads around the very real circumstance of a man or woman gone missing, it seems so surreal!  But it is very real.  Whether missing for an hour or years, professionals in the non-profit arena take all reports seriously.

When I think back 35 years ago my Dad was also missing, but this aspect was never emphasized in the scheme of things. Although I don’t recall exactly, I estimate that for our family, the time he was unaccounted for was approximately from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day.   Although the police tried to construct a timeline, if they had delved deeper, I believe they would have discovered his identity sooner. What difference do a few hours make? A lot!

We knew his habits and what occurred prior to leaving home in the early evening hours. He owned an auto body business and also sold used cars. After dinner, he typically left to collect monies owed for cars purchased.  Previously, I had inherited the family car to commute to college. The car needed oil, so my Dad intended to get oil for the car that evening.  At the time, I had just earned my Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology and was to report to one of my jobs in Western Massachusetts for my new employer.  I never made it to work the following day.

Don Gore

My Dad went missing and never came home, nor did he call my mother if he expected to be very late or change his plans, as he had done in the past. Hours of worry and concern ensued for my mother. She contacted all the friends, contacts, and family she could think of who may know of his whereabouts. She called the hospitals, nothing.

BUT WAIT…. Intervening events would play a part in this awful scenario. Prior to his going missing, he was at a stoplight and apparently someone had the nerve to mug him for the contents of his wallet, including his driver’s license. Dad had not had a chance to replace his license.  However, his van had dealer plates and he was a well known business owner in the Greater Hartford area.  Ultimately, he was found in his van. Why hadn’t the Hartford Police followed up on this right away? Did the dealer plates go missing too? I’ll never know.

However, what occurred was a series of unconscionable “missteps” by the police. Somehow, before we even had a clue that my father was murdered, the local newspaper (under whose authority?) wrote a newspaper article about a missing person.

Among the many scenes of our homicide that are indelibly etched in my brain is this one –

We were in the living room that morning (Aril 17, 1981). My mother was very worried,  having spent a sleepless night.  I was dressed for work looking out the big picture window.  Mom sat in the rocker and was leafing through the newspaper. In the silence of the early morning, I heard my mother suddenly cry out words to the effect of “They’ve found him. It’s him.”

To our absolute horror, the newspaper heading stated “Unidentified Missing Man Found in Green Van.”  In our hearts, we knew it was my Dad. And then, the two of us summoned our strength to call the Hartford Police together. My mother recalled the detective putting his had over the receiver and in a muffled voice saying, “They’ve just identified him.” This was a chilling moment that no family deserves!  My mother called a close family member, a cousin, in order to provide support and drive us to the police station and the medical examiner’s office. I still did not believe it was true. The moment of truth for me was when someone at the police station walked past us carrying a plastic bag with my Dad’s coat which I recognized. That was a defining moment for me.

Imagine, if you can, learning that your loved one is murdered from a newspaper article with no warning whatsoever!

I could write volumes about the injustices we experienced as I recall the events today knowing what I know in 2017. Law enforcement tried, but they made many mistakes in the investigation, as well as in the judicial aspects for years to come, as the perpetrator never should have been eligible for parole!   Does it do any good to point fingers?  Would it have changed the outcome of the crime? No. I am grateful for their efforts in solving the case. However, I am not comfortable giving everyone involved a “pass” just because of the era in which it occurred, with the lack of resources for crime victims and lack of care versus overzealousness in convicting the murderer.

Perhaps the “saving grace” of our ordeal may be that we paved the way for future victims of crime to have a much better experience over time. That I can live with and it gives me solace.

As for the relatively short period of time in which my father was missing, although it was not prolonged, the events that occurred were horrendous, leaving scars for a lifetime. But, scars do heal. As a result, I have a tremendous amount of respect for all families of missing persons, whose ordeal typically goes on and on.

I will end with a most important message: If you experience a loved one or a good friend gone missing, time is of the essence!  In addition, if you desire expertise in assisting your local law enforcement, to begin the process, a missing persons report must be filed with police and then registered with the CUE Center for Missing Persons. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/file-a-report/.

CUE donations are appreciated, with all funds committed to the work of locating missing persons and supporting their families.

cue-logo


DonnaGore-2

 

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

No Time for the Pain, Drama, or False Hopes Inflicted on Families of Homicide and the Missing

angel-1294116_960_720

We all go about our daily business doing what we need to do – including firing up our passions and inspiring our collective villages. However, within that scenario, there are a number of pitfalls on social media about which we need to be wary.

Case in point – I received a Facebook message from a mysterious woman in a faraway land near Russia. This woman commented on my blog written about a high profile missing person who established a legacy for the CUE Center for Missing Persons.

Mystery woman made a comment stating that she had seen the missing person last year in Russia.  The missing person in question disappeared 16  1/2 years ago.

It is not out of the realm of possibility, for evidence, altered identity, remains and the like have been discovered. But, what transpired next seemed suspicious to me.  How do you sort out the crazies from the scammers from the truly informed who want to help?  You approach with caution, sending a private message. Your message should clearly state that if the “informant” has verifiable proof of the person’s whereabouts, contact X resource – whether it is the non-profit tip line or the police with contact info provided. If they do not follow up…that’s a giveaway!

In this instance, such a directive was given. The person replied that she “did not have international calling capability.” Well…. Anyone worth their salt knows that if they contacted me via the internet, there are options such as Skype or other software providing telephone calls via the internet.  The final comment to me was, “Do you have any idea what happened to her?” That’s when I knew she was a fake, fake, fake looking to perpetrate her drama on me or use me for her own mischievous purpose. She obviously never bothered to read the contents of my well researched detailed blog as to what may have happened!

Why make such claims in the first place? I am not inclined to friend a total stranger in a foreign land. I have no reason to do so. I do not want to be part of her “agenda.”

Creating drama and false hope for the families of homicide and missing persons does a terrible disservice to people who are already overburdened with grief, worry and the vacuousness in their hearts. It is unconscionable!

A few words to the less than wise – NEVER make claims about others that are untruthful, that you cannot back up. Doing so inflicts more pain, false hope and makes you part of the problem rather than the solution.

Foreign lady – You are BLOCKED!

Stay vigilant! If it doesn’t make sense, abandon all contact. Refer to your most trusted social media references and keep up on the latest scams and tools to monitor.

For many useful Social Media related blogs, visit https://imaginepublicity.com/

 

The Story of a Missing Person Known as Sage 

 

When the straight world collides with gender identity issues it becomes the land of unintended consequences, confusion, misunderstandings and focusing on the wrong things like bathrooms. Please! It is fodder for the sensational media, but in the end it only hurts a community that has already suffered much oppression.

Combine the forces of human nature with the epidemic of missing persons and it can create the perfect storm. The Cue Center for Missing Persons, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, rated one of the top 100 non-profits in the nation as an all volunteer operation, has served thousands (more than 9,000) families of missing persons in its 22 year history.

thumbnail

 

Profile: Synopsis from the Cue Center for Missing Persons:

Dashad, Laquinn “Sage” Smith identifies as male or female depending upon the situation. Dashad is a male transgendered person who has not had surgery.   She disappeared on November 20, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Charlottesville, VA. She was last seen in the 500 block of West Street to meet someone she met on line by the name of Eric McFadden.

Police have not been able to locate Mr. McFadden and he has not been seen since that time.  Lolita Smith, “Ms. Cookie,” is Dashad’s grandmother and has served as her primary advocate and family support.

Dashad was dressed in house clothes- dark grey sweatpants, a jacket and a black scarf and grey boots. She was to meet Eric near the Amtrak station.   Law enforcement did a search of a local landfill with no results.  Police have communicated extensively over the years  with her grandmother, “Miss Cookie,” since the disappearance.

Dashad had just signed a new lease on her very first apartment, and was extremely happy, with no known reason to go missing.  Typically, she was in constant contact with her grandmother previously.

November 20, 2015 marked the three year anniversary with a special event in her honor.  There is no particular theory as to the whereabouts or circumstances of Dashad’s disappearance.

Vital Information: 

Missing Since: 11/20/12
Missing From: Charlottesville Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance: 19 years
Black Male
Height: 5’11
Weight: 130 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black (Long)
Clothing: Black jacket, dark grey sweatpants, black scarf, and grey boots.
Full name: Dashad Laquinn Smith
Nickname: Sage

If you have any information, that you feel may be related in any way, please contact the following entities.

Investigative Agency
Charlottesville Police
434-970-3970
or
Crime stoppers
434-977-4000

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons   at (910) 343-1131 or the 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

Chasing Rainbows – The Missing Who are Elderly- Part II

people-in-the-park

 

If we only knew the resources needed to care for our elderly, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we’d be shocked. It is on the increase – 71% in the past decade!  According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops this disease;
  • Family caregivers spend approximately $5,000 per year caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s;
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death , and one without prevention or a cure or a mechanism to slow its growth;
  • Caregivers have very high-stress levels, and provided about $15.1 billion in uncompensated care from those surveyed in 2015;
  • Comparison of  Statistics my two home states –
  • Connecticut – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 883 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016, with it being the 6th leading cause of death;
  • South Carolina – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 561 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016.  South Carolina is the 8th highest state in the U.S. re prevalence of Alzheimer’s  with an 86% increase since year 2000!

Numbers don’t lie, no matter what the economic state of our nation. “The rich get richer and the poor get children …and Alzheimer’s”, to paraphrase the old saying.  Chronic unemployment, poverty, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of availability of medical care, increased crime and stress on communities, all contribute to  people’s minds and bodies wasting.  What can be done? I do not have the answers.

However, I know that with dedication, perseverance, and innovative investigation,  Cue Center for Missing Persons  is ready to assist in locating our elders, wherever they may be.   A mandatory part of the equation is always the need for a collective consciousness for the community to do the right thing, stepping forward with any information that may contribute to a successful recovery of a missing person.

Here are four additional examples, to my Part I blog.  Knowing that many of the people in the registry have been missing for several years, gone missing as a young or  middle-aged person, we can only speculate that  in 2016, there are considerably higher  numbers of the people now classified as elderly had they disappeared in the 1980 and 199os.

 Examples of the Missing Elderly from the Cue Center Registry

CUE NC- edna-glaze

1)Brevard, North Carolina – Edna Glaze, age 76 went missing in March 1996 after walking or being dropped off at a hardware store followed by a music store. Edna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-north-carolina/edna-glaze-2/

 


CUE - MichigAN - clewley_joe2

2) Chippewa County, Michigan -Joseph Clewley, age 73, went missing in July 2008 south of Paradise, Michigan on the North County Pathway. He was an avid hiker with a cabin, with significant medical conditions of a physical nature. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/joseph-clewley-2/

 


CUE Texas Shirley-Hunt-jpg3) Henderson, Texas –Shirley Hunt, age 72, went missing in June 2007. Shirley was last seen walking from her residence in Henderson about 3 p.m.  Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/


kansasrichard-clark-150x150

4) Pleasanton, Kansas- Richard Clark, age 67, went missing in October 2005. Richard was a former truck driver and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen in his community at a local grocery store and /or truck stop.  http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/

 


Please assist us by reading and circulating this information. You may never know if it triggers a memory or piece of information to assist in their recovery. The elderly are precious citizens. 

Listen to this recent Shattered Lives podcast with Kimberly Kelly of Project Far From Home to get a better understanding about searching for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimers.

click to listen button1

References – http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/