74 Families of Missing Children Team Together to Provide Help and Comfort to Other...
Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:01am EDT
Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page[-] Text [+] Featured Broker sponsored link
74 Families of Missing Children Team Together to Provide Help and Comfort to
Other Families with Missing Children
Families from 64 Cities and 30 States Attend Team HOPE Training at the
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The discovery of Jaycee Dugard has given renewed hope to many families of
missing children throughout the nation. Seventy-four family members who have
personally experienced the pain of a missing child have registered to attend
training as a Team HOPE volunteer for the National Center for Missing &
Exploited Children (NCMEC). The training will take place on September 25,
2009 at the organization's headquarters in Alexandria, VA.
Team HOPE, which stands for Help Offering Parents Empowerment, is a unique
program that NCMEC makes available to families of missing or sexually
exploited children. Team HOPE volunteers are family members of missing
children or sexually exploited children. Volunteers are trained and after
assisting other families for a year are invited for retraining.
The September program is a retraining program for Team HOPE volunteers.
Attendees will travel from 64 cities and 30 states, and 2 Canadian provinces.
Seventy-four of those attending the training are family members of missing
children. Included in the seventy-four are family members of 15 children who
are currently missing (a list of those cases is attached).
Also participating in the training is Doris Ownby, mother of recovered missing
child Ben Ownby who was 13 when he went missing from Beaufort, Missouri in
2007. Ben was recovered after an intensive investigation which also located
missing child Shawn Hornbeck who disappeared in 2002.
"Parents of missing and exploited children have suffered a great loss, perhaps
the greatest their family will ever endure. They are members of a club that
no one wants to belong to. Many of these families have spent decades looking
for their children never giving up hope." Said Ernie Allen, President & CEO
of NCMEC. "They are the only ones who can truly understand the pain other
families of missing and exploited children are going through. Despite their
own pain and suffering they want to help other families. This is a very
unique program. It an example of extraordinary kindness, the strength of the
human spirit and the power of hope."
Team HOPE is comprised of mothers, fathers, siblings and extended family
members of missing or exploited children who volunteer their time and are
trained to help other victim families. Volunteers are matched with families
who have had similar experiences. Because of their personal experience Team
HOPE volunteers are uniquely qualified to offer emotional support, compassion,
guidance, empowerment and assistance in ways traditional community service
agencies can not provide.
Since its creation more than 10 years ago, Team HOPE has trained more than 235
volunteers and helped more than 40,000 families. Candidates to become a Team
HOPE volunteer are nominated from a variety of sources including: other
active Team HOPE volunteers; law enforcement; state missing children
clearinghouses; nonprofit organizations dealing with missing children issues;
and some families contact NCMEC directly.
This year the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children observes its
25th anniversary. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 138,500
children. Today more children come home safely than ever before. In 2008,
NCMEC helped recover more children than any other year in the organization's
25-year history raising the recovery rate from 62% in 1990 to 97% today. And
more of those who prey on children are being identified and prosecuted. Yet
too many children are still missing and too many children are still the
victims of sexual exploitation. There is much more that needs to be done.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501©(3) nonprofit
organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization
has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which
has handled more than 2,400,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the
recovery of more than 142,000 children. The organization's CyberTipline has
handled more than 733,690 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child
Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 27,030,500
child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation
with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free,
24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at
MEDIA NOTE: Many of the family members participating in the training will be
available to be interviewed during the lunch break. Any media interested in
covering the Team HOPE training program or interviewing family members need to
contact the Public Relations Department at (703) 837-6111 or at
Participants in the training include family members of sixteen children who
are currently missing. Information about these sixteen cases is attached.
They include Non-family Abduction (NFA); Lost Injured and Missing (LIM);
International Family Abduction (IFA) and 5779 (A missing child between the age
of 18 and 21).
LIST OF FAMILIES OF MISSING CHILDREN WHO ARE PARTICIPATING TEAM HOPE TRAINING
ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2009
STATE VOLUNTEER NAME CHILD/ CASE CITY MISSING
CHILDREN'S TYPE DATE
AL Stringfellow, Betty Sherry Lynn NFA New Brockton 6/6/1984
AR Nick, Colleen Morgan NFA Alma 6/9/1995
FL Leonard, Marilyn Clifton LIM Lakeland 8/22/1983
IL Teague, Kathy Vinyette NFA Chicago 6/25/1983
KS Clasen, Dee April Wiss LIM Wichita 1/11/2000
KY Cotton, Wanda Randy Sellers NFA Burlington 8/16/1980
NY Lyall, Doug and Mary Suzanne 5779 Ballston 3/2/1998
OH Culberson, Debbie Clarissa NFA Blanchester 8/28/1996
OH Schmidt, Pam Erica Baker NFA Kettering 2/7/1999
PA Murray, Lisa Jeffrey Lynn NFA Harrisburg 12/4/1985
Quebec Temperton, Melanie NFA Montreal 9/21/1988
TN Green, Donna Raymond NFA McLemoresville 11/6/1978
TX Saileanu, Tammy Isabella IFA Cedar Park 10/18/2001
WA Pichler, Kathy Joseph 5779 Bremerton 1/5/2005
WA Woody, Shawna Joseph NFA Tacoma 1/5/2005
NFA - Non Family Abduction - A child who is missing under circumstances
indicating that the disappearance is not voluntary and who has been abducted
by a non-family member.
LIM - Lost Injured and Missing - When a child's whereabouts are unknown to
the child's caretaker and the child is presumed to be lost or injured.
IFA - International Family Abduction - when a child is concealed or
transported out of the country by a family member with the intent to prevent
contact or deprive the other parent of custodial rights.
5779 - a missing child between the age of 18 and 21
CASE SUMMARY FOR SIXTEEN MISSING CHILDREN WHO HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS
PARTICIPATING IN TEAM HOPE TRAINING ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2009
-- Sherry Lynn Marler hasn't been seen since she was 12 years old in
1984. She went into the downtown area of New Brockton, AL with her
step-father. He went to the bank and Sherry went to the store.
never returned to the truck where she was scheduled to meet her
step-father. (Sherry's mother, Betty Stringfellow, will participate
in the training).
-- Morgan Nick was abducted from a little league ball game by an
unidentified man on June 9, 1995, in Alma, AR. Morgan still missing,
turned 20 on September 19th, 2009 (Morgan's mother, Colleen Nick,
supervises a team of volunteers and will participate in the training).
-- Clifton Patrick Leonard went missing from Lakeland, FL when he was 16
years in 1967. Clifton had been diagnosed with teenage schizophrenia
before his disappearance. He disappeared after leaving a friends home
and may have met with foul play. (Clifton's mother, Marilyn
Leonard, will participate in the training).
-- Vinyette Teague was just two and a half years old when she went
from Chicago, IL on June 25, 1983. She was last seen in the hallway
outside her apartment. Vinyette turned 26 this past June.
(Vinyette's mother Kathy Teague will participate in the training).
-- April Wiss was 16 years old when she went missing from Wichita, KS.
April's roommate woke the morning of January 11th( )2000 to find
April missing. Her purse and belongings were in the apartment, but
April had disappeared. (April's mother, Dorothy Clasen, will
participate in the training).
-- Randy Lee Sellers disappeared from Burlington, KY on August 16th, 1980
when he was 17 years old. Randy went to the Kenton County Fair with
friends that evening, and has not been seen since that night.
(Randy's mother, Wanda Cotton, will participate in the training).
-- Suzanne Lyall was a 19 year old college student and working part time
the local mall when she went missing in 1998 from Albany, NY. Suzanne
has not been seen since 3/2/1998 when she left work and went to the
stop to return to her dormitory. (Suzanne's parents, Doug and Mary
Lyall, will participate in the training).
-- Clarissa Ann Culberson on August 28, 1996, at the age of 22 Clarissa
disappeared from her home. It is alleged that Clarissa met with foul
play. Her boyfriend was found guilty of her murder, but Clarissa's
body has not been found. (Clarissa's mother, Debbie Culberson, will
participate in the training).
-- Erica Baker was almost ten when she went missing from Kettering, Ohio
February 7, 1999. She was last seen between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. when
left the house to walk her dog. The dog was later found, but Erica
not been seen since. Erica turned 20 this past June. (Erica's
grandmother Pam Schmidt will participate in this training).
-- Lynn Smith went missing from Hot Springs, AR in 1985 when she was 16
years old. She was last seen walking home from school. (Lynn's
sister, Lisa Murray, will participate in the training). -- Melanie Lynn Temperton was last seen on September 21, 1988 in
Quebec, Canada when she was 20 years old. She phoned her mother to
she was staying at a friend's house the night. It is suspected that
Melanie met with foul play. (Melanie's mother, Gwen Vatcher
Temperton, will participate in the training).
-- Raymond Green was abducted by an unknown woman on November 6, 1978
Atlanta, Ga when he was 6 days old. The day Raymond went missing this
unknown woman came to the home, when there other people going in and
out. She took Raymond, walked out of the home and disappeared.
(Raymond's mother, Donna Green, will participate in the training).
-- Isabella Saileanu was abducted by her father in Rumania at the age of
on September 18, 2001. Isabella was living with her mother in Santa
Clara, CA prior to the abduction. (Isabella's mother, Tammy
Saileanu, will participate in the training).
-- Joseph Pichler a childhood actor went missing at the age of 18 on
January 5, 2006 from Bremerton, WA. His car was subsequently found
his cell phone and identification. Joseph remains missing.
(Joseph's mother, Kathy Pichler, and sister, Shawna Woody, will
participate in the training).
Public Relations Department
/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- Sept. 22/
SOURCE National Center for Missing & Exploited Children