Missing Persons Day brings together families across NYS

Posted at: 04/06/2013 2:56 PM
Updated at: 04/06/2013 7:44 PM
By: Dan Bazile

Dozens of people from across the state gathered today to remember missing loved ones in Albany. The 12th annual Missing Persons Day brought families together at the New York State Museum. The event is organized by Doug and Mary Lyall, whose daughter disappeared in 1998.

Pictures of missing loved ones on display in one are of the state museum, this as relatives gathered for support and to reflect.

“Every single one of these people here have a different story and everyone of them have emotions,” emotions Mary Lyall says keep them up at night wondering and hoping one day their loved ones will be found.

“It's like a wound that is almost ready to heal. When the scabs are getting ready to fall off and you go to pick at it again, it all comes back to the surface.” Lyall's daughter Suzanne disappeared 15 years ago. The case remains unsolved. The Ballston Spa resident vanished without a trace from the University at Albany.

“Today is Suzie's 35th birthday,” she says. In conjunction with Suzanne's birthday, Lyall and her husband, Doug, put together the missing persons event every year. For the past 12 years they've brought families with missing loved ones together.

“Really, the big value is just interacting with other people so I know I'm not alone. I'm not the only one out there who has gone through this.”

Families share their experiences in the morning, and then they take part in a candle light vigil at the missing person's monument near the state museum on Madison Avenue. Duane Bowers, a professional counselor, moderated a roundtable discussion helping the families understand their resilience.

“Resilience is the ability to create your new normal and function in it,” Bowers explains. Living life under the new circumstances, while hoping for answers. Whatever they may be.

“I was hoping maybe today Suzie would walk in the door. Everyday I go back home. I think she'll be sitting there on the doorstep waiting for us to let her in,” says Lyall.