4th Annual Missing Persons Event
Updated: Jan 31
Since 2015, WI Missing Persons Advocacy Inc. President, Marsha Loritz has organized a Missing Persons Awareness Event bringing attention to the children and adults who are missing in Wisconsin and providing support and resources for the families of missing
This year with the backing of our non-profit we were able to partner with Amber Alert, Fox Valley Technical College, and the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) to hold this event.
Thanks to the help of wonderful volunteers, speakers, and agencies that assist with missing person cases, each event has provided both awareness and family support.
The 4th Annual Missing Persons Event was marked by a two-day event. On Friday, April 6th with a family-only roundtable was conducted at the FVTC Public Safety Training Center in Appleton.
This roundtable was led by Jim Walters of the National Amber Alert Training and National Criminal Justice Training Center. Abbey Potash of Team Hope with The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children and Patty Wetterling from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, both mothers whose children had been abducted, offered support and guidance for the families that attended.
The weekend continued with Saturday’s 4th Annual WI Missing Persons Event, which was also held at the FVTC Public Safety Training Center. This portion of the event was open to the public.
Speakers included, Jay Yerges, a detective from WI Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation who was Master of Ceremonies and serves families of the missing daily. Yerges assured families that although he has never experienced a missing loved one, he shares in the burden and the sleepless nights.
Dr. Susan May, President of Fox Valley Technical college also spoke, offering her support for the importance of this event and recognizing the training that is available for law enforcement who are working on missing persons cases.
Marsha Loritz introduced the families of the missing who were in attendance and read out loud the 200 names of those who are missing in Wisconsin.
There were many agencies who assist with missing persons present, including the Wisconsin K9SOS who demonstrated
a Search and Rescue with one of their dogs.
We were honored to present our keynote speaker, Patty Wetterling. Patty’s son, Jacob, was abducted on October 22, 1989.
In 2016, the family was provided answers and were finally able to lay him to rest. Patty’s story is one of great sorrow, yet, she encouraged the audience to remember that there is more good in the world than evil. She reminded families with missing loved ones to always hope for answers.
The event concluded with our Silent Auction, one of our fundraisers
that is used to fund the Lamar Advertising billboards.
Lamar Advertising has been generous in offering discounts and donating some of their billboards that we secure for the names of Wisconsin Missing Persons to run on electric billboards throughout the month of April.
If you missed Saturday’s event and are
interested in being a voice for the missing,
check out our How to Help page.
A Special Thank You to:
The families for being so brave and being there to support each other!
All the different agencies that assist the missing!
Fox Valley Technical College for allowing us to hold our event at the Public Safety Building
and for all of the great support given to the families of the missing!
Amber Alert, Fox Valley Technical College, And the National Criminal Justice Training Center for partnering with Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc to make this event happen!
Jill Nysse, Jason Sterling and to Dana Schmidt for helping with event planning!
This couldn’t have happened without you!
A special Thank you to Patty Wetterling for sharing her story and giving us Hope!
Abby Potash from Team Hope and Jim Walters from NCJTC for their support this weekend and making sure that we, the families of the missing, felt heard and that our loved one was not forgotten!
Jay Yerges from DCI who was Master of ceremonies and serves families of the missing on a daily basis!
Dr. Susan Mae who understood and stood behind the importance of this event!
The media for helping to share the message and doing their part in raising awareness!
Lamar Advertising in helping raise awareness with the donation/discount
on the billboards during the month of April!
All the generosity of those that sponsored, donated and supported our event!
Every volunteer who helped make this happen!
This event was a huge success because of you! Thank you!!!!
National Amber Alert Training - https://www.amberalert.gov/training.htm
National Criminal Justice Training Center - https://ncjtc.fvtc.edu/
Team Hope - http://www.missingkids.org/ourwork/teamhope
The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children - http://www.missingkids.com/
Jacob Wetterling Resource Center - http://www.gundersenhealth.org/ncptc/jacob-wetterling-resource-center/who-we-are/history/
Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc.- https://www.wimissing.org