Ark. AG trying to give families more resources to find missing loved ones
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Hundreds of missing persons cases remain unsolved in Arkansas.
The faces of Arkansans who have simply vanished. Every day families search for their missing loved ones in hopes of being reunited with them again.
Very few know what these families endure, but Arkansas’s Attorney General explained why she’s doing everything she can to make sure they’re never forgotten.
It’s a list no one wants their loved one to be a part of, ‘Arkansas’s missing persons database’ which currently includes more than 500 people.
“The families are going through something that many of us could not imagine. That’s living every single day without their loved one. Not knowing whether they’re alive, not knowing whether they’ll find that person, not knowing if they’ll have closure,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Rutledge works closely with the families desperately seeking to find those who are missing. “My heart breaks for these families because I can’t imagine having my brother, my parents, a cousin and now a soon to be mom, what that heartbreak must feel like,” said Rutledge.
As each day goes by, these faces are never forgotten. The attorney general’s office makes sure law enforcement is trained and equipped to help their missing loved ones return home. At the annual Arkansas Takes Action event, officers receive special training to learn new techniques and enhance their skills. But the event also gives families a chance to come together and to share stories and information.
“That’s why we encourage families to not only attend to find comfort in other families that are suffering and going through the same challenges,” said Rutledge.
And if there’s anyone who knows exactly what they’re going through it is Colleen Nick. Nick is someone Rutledge and many others have found to be a huge champion for families over the years. Her daughter, Morgan Nick has been missing for 23 years.
The Morgan Nick Foundation serves as resource for families like hers. “I think it’s very important that families are able to come together and sit in a room with other people who really understand where their hearts are at, what it feels like to have open-ended grief all the time and still find joy in your family,” said Colleen.
But as they work to build those coping skills, it’s also important for families to help law enforcement by providing DNA samples, which is another part of the Arkansas Takes Action event. Rutledge said DNA technology has played a major role in helping solve cases by matching human remains with the missing people databases.
But while many are found, many others remain missing, gone without a trace. And the attorney general believes, some of us, may hold the missing pieces.
“I know that of these 500 plus Arkansans that are missing across our state, someone out there has information,” said Rutledge.
She added, we must, as Arkansans, lift all of these families up; We must give them every tool and resource we have, and that’s what she’s trying to do.