Archive | missing people

Thank You New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish!

I am very happy and proud that New Mexico’s Lt. Governor Diane Denish is taking a stand for missing persons and their families. Finally, a politician is doing something positive for the cause. A lot more need to follow her example. But she needs everyone’s support to make important changes happen. Watch the video and read all about it below.

Question: Do you think law enforcement should have a national protocol in handling missing person cases? Why or why not?

Denish calls for missing-person alerts
Mesa graves spur call for action

Reporter: Maria Medina

Web Producer: Bill Diven

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The uncertainty linking dozens of missing women with remains unearthed from Albuquerque’s west mesa shows more needs to be done when someone disappears, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said Tuesday.

“Let’s be frank about this,” Denish told KRQE News 13. “This is mostly women who go missing and are not found, and that’s really what caught my attention.

“I grieve along with all the other people in New Mexico not just for the families but for New Mexico. I think we can do better.”

She’s called a meeting for Friday to bring law enforcement, the media and other organizations together to talk about solutions.

Liz Pérez said she could’ve used more help when her daughter-in-law went missing. Nearly eight years ago Darlene Trujillo dropped her son off with Perez.

She said she was going on a quick trip to Arizona, but she never returned.

“(The police) said that they would file a missing persons report but that they couldn’t really do nothing on it because Darlene was over 18 years old,” Pérez said.

Trujillo is not one of the four women who investigators have identified so far from the west mesa graves. Forensics experts have said the remains are those of Victoria Chavez, Cinnamon Elks, Julie Nieto and Michelle Valdez.

All four young women disappeared in 2004, and all shared trouble in their lives involving drugs and prostitution. Eight sets of skeletal remains have yet to be identified, and investigators have yet to name any prime suspects in the case.

Denish said she doesn’t want to hear about limitations adding that she thinks a lot more can and should be done to publicize missing persons cases quickly.

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National DataBase for Missing and Unidentified Persons NamUs

Is your missing loved one registered in the The NamUs Database?

The Justice Department has unveiled a computer database that will help families locate the bodies of lost loved ones. Families, law enforcement agencies, medical examiners and coroners, victim advocates, and the general public are encouraged to register their missing loved ones with The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the first national repository for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. NamUs consists of two databases that anyone can search. The Justice Department hopes that law enforcement officials and the public will use the databases to share information to solve cases.Feb 2009
Let’s just hope law enforcement start to use it. Families deserve closure.

Read more about NamUs
National site helps ID remains, Find the Lost

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Lilly Aramburo and Missing Minorities Campaign

Dear friends, I was recently surprised to find Lilly Aramburo listed on a site called Missing Minorities Campaign. How awesome! It’s a great site and very helpful for the benefit of missing minorities. As we all know, missing minorities rarely make the news. And if they do, they don’t receive the same type of in depth coverage. (God knows how hard I’ve tried to get media coverage for Lilly!) But with sites like Missing Minorities Campaign and others using the internet to advocate for missing people, the more eyes we have looking out for our loved ones and the better chances we have of finding them.

Although most of us live very busy, sometimes hectic lives, a little time and effort goes a long way. You’d be surprised to know how easy it is to help. As I always do when I find a website, blog or organization doing good works, I stumbled their site, bookmarked it and shared it on Twitter and a few other networking sites and aggregators like Friendfeed. And it really helps! After reading the stories of the missing people on the Missing Minorities site and others, it’s very helpful to DIGG or STUMBLE the story or share on whatever social network and news submission sites you use. I joined their community, as well. After all, that’s what social networking is all about: community.

One last thing, if you use Twitter, please follow the Missing Minorities Campaign.


Prayers for Missing Mother Lilly Aramburo

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr

I spent the day yesterday with my favorite boy in the world…Lilly Aramburo’s 2 year old son, Palden:-) Lilly’s mother, Lucely, invited me over to their new place, along with a few of Lilly’s old friends from school. I had a lovely time. It was amazing to see how much her little boy has learned to talk. He took me by the hand and showed me his room and all his toys. He walked me over to a chest, lifted the top and showed me what was inside…Lilly’s boots and shoes…and he said “gone…gone”. He broke my heart in two. Although, he was a baby when he last saw his mother, Lilly, (it seems to me) her memory is still very much alive in his mind.

The following prayer is dedicated to Lilly and all missing loved ones. May they be in peace, free from all harm and suffering. May they be found and may justice prevail.

Prayer to Find What Is Lost
St. Anthony, when you prayed, your stolen book of prayers was given back to you. Pray now for all of us who have lost things precious and dear. Pray for all who have lost faith, hope or the friendship of God. Pray for us who have lost friends or relatives by death. Pray for all who have lost peace of mind or spirit. Pray that we may be given new hope, new faith, new love. Pray that lost things, needful and helpful to us, may be returned to our keeping. Or, if we must continue in our loss, pray that we may be given Christ’s comfort and peace.



10 Ways to Deal With Grief and Loss During the Holidays

Imagine if your loved one was missing or a victim of murder….how would you cope with the holidays? While the holidays are a time of joy, going to parties and celebrations, for families coping with the loss of a missing or murdered loved one, it’s no picnic. Grief is a normal response to loss. When we experience grief, our thinking, feeling and behavior are deeply affected. Since the disappearance of my precious and dear friend, Lilly Aramburo – June 2, 2007, my life hasn’t been the same. Since then, it’s been quite a struggle to remain positive knowing she still has not been found. (Lilly’s mother and 2 year old child are pictured above) Sometimes if you’re grieving, its hard to experience genuine joy…especially during the holidays. But no matter how intense our feelings are, they are temporary and while painful, experiencing the process of grief is normal.

Here are a few tips that might help you if you’re grieving over the loss of a loved one:

  1. It’s ok to need comfort. Ask for, and accept the help.
  2. Talk about it. It’s essential you have someone who will help sustain you emotionally. Seek out a good friend, family member or someone in your faith community to talk to.
  3. Look at pictures of your loved one. Remember their voice and everything about them.
  4. Find a support group. Share memories of your loved one. Allow your emotions to surface in order to work through them.
  5. Keep a journal or blog. Some find it helpful to express themselves through art by painting, drawing or arts & crafts or by listening to music or singing.
  6. Create a memorial in his/her honor (If they loved flowers, plant or fund a garden)
  7. Get involved in a cause or organization that was important to them. Donate to them in your loved one’s name.
  8. Try to eat healthy and exercise.Take it one day at a time. Try meditation, it’s very beneficial for calming the mind.
  9. Support others who are grieving or experiencing loss, as well.
  10. Remember that your time on earth is limited and human life is precious.

Here are 5 ways friends can help:

  1. Be a good listener – Allow them to talk about their grief, or whatever they feel like expressing.
  2. Be non-judgmental. Do not criticize them…
  3. Support them by helping with household chores or cooking whenever possible. Their ability to do even simple tasks can be impaired. Don’t ask, just do it.
  4. If they’re going through a trial or court proceedings, this can be very trying – offer a shoulder to lean on.
  5. Send cards on important days such as their birthday, anniversary of their death or disappearance. Consider honoring their life by organizing a candlelight vigil and inviting the community.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have a missing or murdered loved one? Are you grieving? How are you coping with the holidays?


Kid Finders Network Update

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of traffic and comments on this blog from folks who are curious about my connection to Kid Finders Network. Seems like followers of the Caylee Anthony missing child case, have been Googling information about Kid Finders and have found my old blog posts. Like many of you, I too have been watching in wonderment at the latest controversy surrounding them. This post is for you, those who want to know how Kid Finders Network came into our lives.

The date was July 2008, I received an email through Myspace from a friend, the sister of a missing person, Heather Riggio. She told me about Kid Finders and how they were doing a mobile billboard for Heather. She suggested I contact them to see if they’d be willing to do the same for Lilly. To my surprise, a few days later, I received an email from Sherri Milstead of Kid Finders. She told me about her organization and the work they were doing for Heather Riggio’s case. She explained that along with the mobile billboard, they did press conferences to raise awareness in the community. She offered their services for Lilly. I was very excited about the possibility and immediately notified Lilly’s mother.

A short time later (about a week), I received another email from Sherri. She asked me if I could meet her the following morning at the North Miami Beach Police station, where they were having a press conference for Heather Riggio. She wanted to talk about Lilly’s case. I agreed and contacted Lilly’s mother to go with me.

About 10am on Friday July 11th, we drove to the police station. We saw the mobile billboard for Heather parked out in front of the building on the busy Avenue. Lucely (Lilly’s mother) and I met Sherri and Dennis Milstead moments before the press conference took place. (Pictured above) We watched as everyone exited the station and took their place in front of the mobile billboard. We listened to detectives and Kid Finders speak, we watched as reporters for the Miami Herald and WSVN Channel 7 asked their questions. It was a tough moment us. Although we felt happy for Heather and her family, we could not escape feelings of sadness for Lilly. Quietly, we fell to the background and took a seat.

A short time later, we had our meeting with Sherri and Dennis. They seemed nice and willing to help. They assured us that they would do the same for Lilly. They said it would not be long before the billboard would be ready with Lilly’s picture and information. Dennis gave us each his invention, Safety in a Flash. After conversing for some 45 minutes, Lucely and I left our meeting hopeful.

On July 19th, I got an email from Sherri. She assured me that she did not forget about Lilly. And went on to explain that they were being pulled away to Orlando for a Missing 2 year old girl named Caylee Anthony. She said “As you know we are KID Finders Network and small children take precidence but rest assured we are still working on getting a mobile billboard out for Lily as fast as we can.

That was the last I heard from Sherri and Kid Finders Network. My emails to Sherri haven’t been answered. But this is the kind of thing I’ve grown used to. I’m sure she’s been really busy with the whole Caylee Anthony search.

But the fact remains, my dear friend, Lilly Aramburo is still missing… just like little Caylee. But NO ONE, not one organization is volunteering to search for Lilly Aramburo or doing anything at all for her or her 2 year old son.


Suggestive Reading: Media Bias: Only White Kids Get Abducted

Check out this article on Mom Logic about media bias as it relates to race and missing children. I really appreciate their mention of the good works by Black and Missing But Not Forgotten. A blog dedicated to those that are missing and black. Thanks for all you do, Deidra! Unfortunately, there are many who say they are dedicated to missing persons, but none focus on missing minorities in general.

As stated by the Media Bias article, “Thousands of kids go missing each day — so why do we never seem to hear about the African-American children?” Great question, Mom Logic! Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront.

Media Bias: Only White Kids Get Abducted


Join me on myspace & other social networks

Hi, I’ve created a group on facebook for Lilly. Please join if you’re on facebook

And on myspace

I created a Missing Persons Room on Friendfeed. Please join if you’re interested in keeping up with and submitting news.

I created a group on Flickr to submit photographs of missing people in the US.

And a group on Care2, I really love

This is a community on Mixx.xom to submit articles about missing people.

If anyone would like to help find Lilly, please contact me!

Janet Forte
Spokesperson for Lilly Aramburo
Chat: Google Talk: janet.forte
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