If you are a family member of a missing person needing assistance, please contact me. If you know something about a missing person, please call your nearest law enforcement agency.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Amateur Sleuths Name Anonymous Dead

This is a shameless plug. Running this weekend is an Associated Press article about The Doe Network. I am included in this article - but this is not about me. It's about why that article includes me and others like me who are desperately searching for clues to bring closure to families with missing persons and to identify the nameless dead and bring them home.

The still-unidentified toddler, known locally as "DuPage Johnny Doe", is mentioned in the article. Not mentioned are the thousands of other Illinois missing persons and the hundreds of unidentified dead. Sometimes their cases are profiled briefly in the media - some cases become media magnets - and still others never get a mention.

At Doe Network, the cases are the same - a missing person that needs to be found and reunited with loved ones, an unidentified body, stumbled upon and examined, with no clues as to identity. Our members search just as hard for each and every one.

Helen O'Neill's article provided a glimpse into the lives of a few of our members, but there are hundreds more behind the scenes, not mentioned but who's work is as tireless, as important and as needed.

Area Directors across the U.S. and internationally reach out to law enforcement and other agencies for information needed to update the databases of the missing and the unidentified. I am blessed here in Illinois to have a number of law enforcement officials that provide assistance and support. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

It is my fervent hope that more Illinois agencies will be compelled by Helen's article to join the rest of their peers here in supporting our efforts by giving us access to their cases involving missing persons and unidentified bodies so that our members can begin the work of sending them home.