Cristy Moore said memories of her sister’s disappearance in Clark County came back this week after hearing about the three women found alive in Cleveland after they were kidnapped nearly a decade ago.
“Each time something happens, we relive it again,” said Moore, 44, of Roanoke, Va.
Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, who were kidnapped years ago, were found alive Monday after being held captive in a Cleveland home.
Locally, the only active, long-term missing persons case is Michelle L. Rice, who disappeared Sept. 24, 2009.
Springfield Police Captain Mike Hill urges anyone with information to contact police at 937-324-7685 or 937-324-7716.
Moore said missing persons cases have grabbed her attention since her sister, Faith Willison of Springfield, disappeared in June 2010 after her car was seen along East National Road.
In November 2011, Willison’s skull was discovered in Harmony Twp. about a half-mile from where her car was abandoned.
Family members held vigils, and dozens of volunteers joined the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and a Texas company that specializes in looking for lost or missing persons in searches for her.
Clark County Sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Clark said the missing persons case is closed, but Willison’s cause of death is unknown.
“We have no information that says it was a suspicious death. We don’t know what happened to her. We’ve never found anything that would indicate foul play,” Clark said.
Moore said she and other family members still want answers.
She imagines that the families in Cleveland struggled for years because they had no information about the missing women.
Willison’s family members believed she had left her husband before her remains were found in 2011.
“I wish we would have found her alive. The not knowing was horrible because everyday you’re looking and looking for your loved one,” Moore said.
“I don’t know if the families (in Cleveland) had any names, any clues. But we didn’t have any clues to go by … It was like she vanished. Just like those family members. Vanished.”
This year, 51 juveniles and 29 adults have been reported missing to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and all of them have been found alive, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.
Kelly said most cases involve the elderly or runaways and added that active missing persons cases in Clark County are rare.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had one like (the Cleveland case),” Kelly said. “When I saw the news, my response was that it’s a great day for them. That’s what everyone hopes for.”
Kelly said officials searched for Willison on foot, by helicopter and with the help of dogs.
“We used every resource available,” Kelly said.
Springfield’s Hill said police never give up hope on missing persons investigations.
“After 10 years naturally you start thinking the worst, but you never want to think that,” Hill said. “There’s a point when we run out of leads, and we’re hoping something else comes up. But you don’t ever give up hope.”
Moore said says she’s happy for those whose missing relatives and friends have been found alive and says she plans to continue seeking information in her sister’s case.
“I would hope that anybody that knows someone who is missing that they find their loved one,” Moore said. “I want answers … But we may never know what happened to her.”
By Tiffany Y. Latta - Springfield News-Sun, Ohio (MCT)
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