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Website Keeps Up Hope For Families Of Missing

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File photo of missing child. (Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

File photo of missing child. (Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The sister of California musician Jannel Rap went missing Oct. 17, 2000, after an open mic performance in Nebraska. Her case remains unsolved.

Rap resolved not to let people like her sister be forgotten. She started and the Squeaky Wheel Tour for musicians to write and perform songs about local missing people and pass out fliers to attendees in hopes that at least one would be found.

Chester resident Carey Colvin has managed the website since 2006, getting to know hundreds of cases from all 50 states and 10 countries. The website’s list is not comprehensive, but it pulls from other nationally recognized missing person sites and police reports.

The three women in Ohio who gained national attention when they were rescued a decade after their disappearance are a reminder that communities should not forget or give up hope for those missing, Colvin said.

Colvin had recently updated the flier for one of the women, Amanda Berry.

“I look at these people almost daily — and there’s thousands of them — and you wonder, ‘What’s their story? What really happened?’?” Colvin said.

The National Crime Information Center filed reports of 692,944 people missing in 2010 in the U.S. At the beginning of 2012, active missing-persons records totaled 85,158. About 44 percent were minors.

But many of them are forgotten by their communities, Colvin said.

“They weren’t taken in high drama. They weren’t important in their society,” Colvin said. “If you had a missing person in your life, you would move heaven and earth to find them, and it would be with you every step of every day.”

It’s hard to track the success of fliers, Colvin said, but she cited two instances when the person was found within a month of a Squeaky Wheel Tour concert.

“Anything that anyone can do for them gives the family hope,” she said.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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