Posted: May 12, 2012 in crime
Tags: ,

“Laci’s missing”

How many of us watched the news stories of Laci and Scott Peterson?  It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.  As the mother of two wonderful daughters, I thanked God every day that they were safe and sound. In the case of Laci Peterson, the family had closure.  Despite the heart breaking outcome, they were able to bring Laci and her unborn child home.

My daughters and I love scary movies.  We watch all the crime shows on television (Criminal Minds, CSI, The Closer) and are often teased about our fondness for the dark side.  I often tease my daughter Stefanie about being the “worst case scenario girl.”  But her cautious nature stood her in good stead when she encountered a very scary situation.  She had to travel on business and checked into a Holiday Inn Express.  Around one in the morning she answered a call to her room.  There was a man on the phone asking why she hadn’t joined him as she’d promised.  When she told him he had the wrong room, he said her name and described her to a tee.  Terrified, she immediately called hotel security.  She also called home and asked her husband to come and spend the rest of the night with her.  When she thought back over the evening, she remembered that the hotel desk person had said her name out loud and had also told her the room number.  The man had to have been in the lobby at the same time.

My daughter Kim and I had a scary experience as well.  We were driving home from San Francisco and stopped at a restaurant close to the freeway.  It was around midnight.  Afterwards, as we were heading for the car, I saw a woman approaching from across the parking lot.  She was mumbling something that I couldn’t understand.  Thinking she was just going to beg for money, I thought about just giving her some cash to send her on her way.  But, as she got closer, I heard what she was saying – “I’m not a bad person, honest I’m not.”  She kept repeating it.  I yelled at the top of my voice “NO, don’t come any closer.”  Kim and I quickly got into the car.  At that moment two men came up to the hood of the car and leaned over and scowled at us.  Thank God I went with my instincts!

But what about those victims who aren’t so lucky?  There was a show on television in 2009.  It was titled The Forgotten and was about a group of dedicated, amateur detectives (the Identity Network) who attempt to reconstruct the pieces of John and Jane Doe’s lives from what little evidence is left behind. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled.  However, it was instrumental in helping to find a woman who’d been missing for more than 20 years.  During commercial breaks, the show aired a public service announcement about the Justice Department’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).  Stephanie Clack’s sister, Paula Beverly Davis, had disappeared in 1987.  An aunt told her about NamUs.  Stephanie went online to the site and entered her sister’s identifying information which included two tattoos, one a unicorn and one a rose.

A DNA match confirmed the unidentified remains were those of her sister. But Stephanie was told that the cost of returning her sister’s remains amounted to $3,000.  Because of financial hardship, she didn’t know how she was going to afford the cost.  She was contacted by an executive producer of the Forgotten who offered to pay some of the expenses.  Christian Slater, the star of the TV show, mentioned Davis’s plight during an interview on Lopez Tonight. Due to these efforts and other fundraisers, Stephanie was able to finally bring her sister home.

NamUs is a newly launched searchable indexing system that catalogs both missing persons and unidentified human remains. The system not only does automatic checks for matches; it also allows anyone with Internet access to search its databanks, including law enforcement, medical examiners, families and the public.  Want to learn more?  Visit www.namus.gov

Also check out:  The Doe Network (International Center for Unidentified and Missing Persons) at:  www.doenetwork.org

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Comments
  1. Kym Davis says:

    Wow… great read and information! We must all be careful of our surroundings at all times. Thanks Gloria

  2. biomouse says:

    The Laci Peterson story was so incredibly tragic-I have friends from growing up in Fresno that were acquainted with Laci. Great post Gloria!

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