Our Missing Family
Four of our Board Members have Missing Loved Ones.
Here are their stories.
Marsha Loritz, daughter of “missing” Victoria Prokopovitz
My name is Marsha Loritz. On April 25, 2013, my mother, Victoria Prokopovitz, went missing from her rural home sometime between the hours of 10 pm April 25th and 3 am April 26th. Her cell phone, purse, money, and cigarettes were left behind, and she did not have any sort of transportation.
Prior to my mom going missing, I had only heard of missing persons on TV. I didn’t personally know anyone that had a missing loved one. My pretty normal life changed overnight, and my life was turned upside down! I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. I became aware of the difficulty families face when a loved one goes missing.
Daily living became difficult, sometimes feeling impossible! I found it difficult to work, eat, or sleep. I didn’t know how to live in this new world of the missing. There are so many questions, and no answers. All I could think about was finding my mom and I became desperate for answers.
In January of 2015, we were approaching the 2-year marker of my mom going missing. (Notice I use ‘marker’ instead of ‘anniversary’ as to me an anniversary is a happy occasion to celebrate, this is not.) I was becoming aware of the number of missing persons and I started researching Wisconsin’s missing persons.
My research left me in in disbelief! I knew I had to do something, so I wrote to Governor Scott Walker, telling him who I was, what happened with my mom, and the information I had found about others that are missing in Wisconsin.
I asked him to grant a Missing Persons Awareness Day, and was surprised when he came back with a Missing Persons Awareness Month! With this proclamation, I knew I had to hold an event. One month later, On April 26, 2015 the first Wisconsin Missing Persons Awareness Event was held in Green Bay, WI.
Information was shared about Search and Rescue, prevention and safety, and Wisconsin’s missing. The Missing Persons Awareness Event also gave families of the missing a place to share their story and to connect with other families who have missing loved ones. I was nervous about hosting this event wondering if anyone would attend, or if the public would even care. I had felt so alone up to this point but felt it in my heart that this was something I had to do!
It was at that first event that I made personal connections with other families of the missing. I met Jenna Wood and her family, as well as, a few other families with missing loved ones. For the first time, I had
a sense of relief to see and feel that I was not alone! Jenna and I had a nice talk and I knew that this was something I had to continue!
That first event was well received. With the support I felt, I knew that I had to hold it again in 2016! I had a little more time to plan, and was able to reach out to various law enforcement agencies to see if they could help me reach more families.
It was at the 2016 event that I met Jackie Kort. She was the first person that I ever met that had a missing mother. She knew exactly how I was feeling and we had an instant bond!
Jackie, Jenna, and I were able to offer each other a sense of support that we were not able to find anywhere else. I felt like I had a new source of support in these ladies! I knew I had to host another event in 2017!
The third year for our Missing Persons Awareness Event felt like a family reunion for me! I was so excited to see my friends from the "world of the missing'.
At the end of the event we couldn’t believe how fast the time had gone, and we were not ready to leave!
I got to work planning the 2018 event the very next week! This event is necessary for awareness and for the families! I feel as though God has connected me with these ladies and restored hope.
I have found it has become my passion and purpose to be a source of support for other families and an advocate for the missing.
Through the work I have done, Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc. was born. Our hope is that by raising awareness and developing supportive services for families, who share our current position and quest for answers, we can lessen the burden in such a difficult situation.
I have had the privilege of meeting, and connecting with some amazing people through all of this, including two fellow board members, Jenna Wood and Jackie Kort.
Together we CAN make a difference!
Missing since April 25th, 2013
If you have any information, please contact Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 920-432-7867
or Brown county Sheriff’s Office at 920-448-4230.
The Charley Project http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/p/prokopovitz_victoria.html
My dedicated FB to my mom: