ALBANY, N.Y. -- Dozens of families of people missing gathered to get informed and get by together. Missing Persons Day in Albany was a chance to learn, a chance to find help and a chance to cry.
“April 6th, 2008. We are still anxiously awaiting her return,” said Mary Lyall, mother of Suzanne Lyall.
The Lyall's daughter, Suzanne, disappeared 10 years ago. The Center of Hope founders use their daughter's birthday as a day to remember the 3,500 people in New York state that are missing. And while the event comes around once a year, for families, the waiting and wondering what happened to their loved one never stops.
“Five months and five days and everyday is really hard. I just want everyone to get out and look,” said Barbara Reeley, grandmother of Jaliek Rainwalker.
But there is hope for families. George Adams from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas says work on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NAMUS, is underway. In it is information on missing people and unidentifiable deaths on one website for law enforcement and families.
“It is being brought together to put all the forces together in the country for you to search for your missing person,” Adams said.
Adams says families can submit DNA samples for possible matches to people in the database at no cost. He says the next step is getting every state to collect information on every missing person and submit it to the database. But, Adams says, laws would have to change in many states including New York to make that a reality.