Saturday event to remember the missing

Rally at Capitol seeks to raise awareness

Trying to find missing loved ones is a difficult task, but families bearing that burden will hold a rally Saturday on the south lawn of the Capitol.

The annual Missouri Missing and Unidentified Person’s Awareness Day will be held from 3-5 p.m.

“We have always had good speakers, including Shawn Horbeck’s parents, a couple years ago,” said Marianne Asher-Champman, who helped get the first awareness day organized in 2008. “This year we have published author, Donald Ross, father of missing Jesse Ross, and Maureen Reintjes with NamUs along with Stephanie Coplen from Media for the Missing. We expect families with missing people from all over Missouri, and other states to attend.”

Asher-Chapman’s daughter, Angie Yarnell, went missing on Oct. 25, 2003.

“When Angie went missing, I recall how there was nothing out there to help or support me,” she said. “There is a sort of frantic desperation when you can’t find your child or any missing loved one. So, I did not want others to have to go through this thing without some source of hope. We are here to create awareness for these families for their missing person. Through education, the public can see what a nearly silent epidemic this is.”

Asher-Chapman pointed out that Missouri was the first in the nation to recognize the unidentified should also be classified as missing, and some other states have followed.

“Last year was the only year, since we started, that we didn’t have a ceremony, though we did receive a proclamation from Governor Nixon and he has given us one again this year,” she said.

“I expect this rally to be the best ever, especially holding it on a weekend so more people can attend. We have to keep our people’s faces out there. We are their voices now. We need to bring them home.”

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