Hope helping families move forward
New York State's Missing Person's Day falls on the same day as Suzanne Lyall's birthday. The SUNY Albany Sophomore has been missing for more than 14 years. While this year marked her 34th, this Saturday marked the 11th annual Missing Persons Day Ceremony. Our Beth Croughan attended and has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- H. O. P. E. Those are four letters with so much meaning, one word, that brought more than 100 people together Saturday.
"But whatever the story of your missing loved one, we are here today to either begin or continue our journey of hope," one speaker read to the crowd in the auditorium of the New York State Museum.
It's a journey Doug and Mary Lyall began more than 14-years-ago. Their daughter Suzanne was last seen at SUNY Albany in 1998. They've since founded The Center for HOPE to provide support to families in similar situations.
"Some people will call it a club that nobody wants to belong too, but in a sense on a positive side, we are an expanded family," Doug Lyall explained.
A family standing by one another as they marked the 11th Anniversary of the New York State Missing Persons Day Ceremony.
But for a family searching for answers, there's another date weighing heavy on their hearts.
For Beth Churchill, it's January 16th, 1987. That's the last time anyone reports seeing her nephew Joe Helt; a young man from Ellenville. "Other people don't understand your grief, or your reason to keep going, to not giving up hope," she said of why she came to Saturday's event.
But here, that word is helping families move forward days, months, even years after experiencing such loss.