Updated 02/07/2004 02:12 PM
Lyall family holds onto hope
The grisly discovery of a woman's body in Albany's South End brought a sense of fear to Doug and Mary Lyall. Their daughter, Suzanne, has been missing since March 2, 1998, just shy of her 20th birthday. She was last seen on the UAlbany college campus.
Mary Lyall said, "I don't want it to be my daughter. I don't want it to be her, and I hope it's not."
Doug Lyall said, "I have to say that it's there all the time and there's not a day that goes by that Suzanne isn't in our thoughts or we're trying to figure out what might have happened."
Mary Lyall said, "We often sit and think of all different scenarios and ideas of what could have happened, where she could be. Is she still out there? What is she doing?"
So when the news came that a woman's body was discovered in a 55-gallon drum two feet below the ground, there was some thought that it could be their daughter Suzanne. Police have yet to identify the body they said might have been there for years.
Doug Lyall said, "I guess we're hoping that it's not her, that it's one of the many other missing women from the Capital District area."
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It has been almost six years without a trace of the Lyall's youngest daughter. There are occasional moments when their personal purgatory seems to be almost over, like years ago, when a UAlbany campus police officer called to say a body fitting Lyall's description had been found.
The Lyalls have no idea if this latest body is that of their daughter's. Doug Lyall said the minute he heard about the discovery he was on the phone with state police. He said he'll keep talking with them until he knows for sure.
He said, "To find out the worst would be one of the most painful things we could experience. We want to avoid that. If we get that call saying it's not her, it will really allow us to take a deep breath."
The Lyalls said they will just wait while forensic tests are performed on the body, and pray that Suzanne is still alive.