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Bringing Michigan missing persons home

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A conference near Lansing today is helping families search for their missing loved ones.

A Michigan State Police spokesman admits it’s not clear how many people are missing in Michigan.  The law doesn’t require all disappearances to be reported.  

So many families find themselves alone in their search.

MSP Lieutenant Mike Shaw says he can’t imagine what the families go through.

“Just to walk around and not see that person and not ever, ever knowing what happened, I couldn’t imagine that,” says Shaw,  “We hope to bring some type of closure, some type of hope to these families.”

Michigan State Police are collecting DNA and other information at the “Missing in Michigan” conference, which is in its third year.   

Many people at this year's conference have been looking for loved ones for years.   Carol Ryan is one of the lucky ones.   Her daughter was found three weeks after she was abducted.

But Ryan says you’d be wrong if you think this is just a problem involving children.

“As evidenced by several families here,  adults are family members….when they vanish it hurts just as much,” says Ryan.

Two previous Missing in Michigan conferences have helped solve four missing persons cases in Michigan.  DNA samples collected at the conferences were used to ID three sets of remains. In the fourth case, a 16 year old girl was reunited with her family.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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