EAST LANSING, MIch. – According to the Michigan State Police there are currently 4,382 reported missing person cases under investigation. That’s the reason MSP holds the ‘Missing in Michigan’ gathering each year.
“We had no idea how many missing right here in Michigan there really are,” said Diane Homrich who attended the event on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Eagle Eye Golf Course near East Lansing.
Homrich has head of this event before but things changed for her four months ago when her grand daughter, Jessica Heeringa, went missing from Norton Shores. Police said Heeringa was likely abducted from a gas station.
“You see the posters and you think, oh that is too bad, but you go on with your life. But when it happens to you then you start thinking, I’ve got to start looking at these posters and I want to help these families too,” she said.
While Homrich was attending the event for the first time, others have been to the ‘Missing in Michigan’ event before. Kellie Greene is the cousin of Richard Hitchcock a person missing from Allegan since 1990.
She comes to the event to share her experience with others who are in the same position she is.
“It’s a very good feeling,” said Greene. “It renews your faith and the hope that you have that you will be able to bring your loved one home.”
The State Police say they are at the event for a few reasons, to take DNA samples and conduct follow up interviews.
Lt. Michael Shaw with the MSP said, “We have unidentified remains in different medical examiners offices around the state and while it may not be a happy closure, at least it will let the folks know their loved one has been found and they can have some closure and have a funeral service.”
In the end, the hope is some will leave with the strength to continue the search.