SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - Michigan's Missing Person Day is recognized this year on Saturday, May 5, 2018. It is a day to recognize families and friends of those affected by an unexplained and unresolved disappearance of a loved one.
This is the 8th year of the event, and Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Sarah Krebs tells us this event can bring hope to many families.
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"In a lot of these cases, we are finding their missing loved ones alive and well and reunited them after the event," she says.
In some cases involving addiction, she explains, the family member doesn't realize their loved ones are searching for them. In other cases, if the loved one doesn't want to be contacted, police are still able to tell the family they're alive and well but to end their search. She says hundreds of families have been reconnected because of this event.
Many high-profile cases are still unsolved in the metro area, such as Danielle Stislicki, the 28-year-old who disappeared on a Friday night after work in Farmington Hills in December of 2016; and the three Skelton boys who were last seen with their dad in Morenci, Mich. back in 2010.
The event is at Madonna University in Livonia from 1 - 5 p.m. A private, family only roundtable session is at 9 a.m. If you're interested in that, you must register with D/Sgt. Krebs at 313-215-0675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For families attending, the first thing police will do is make sure your case has been reported properly, and is in the correct database.
You'll also be able to donate DNA on site to help officials identify remains, if that may be the case.
Also at this event, they're launching what they're calling the VIP Program, that stands for vulnerable or impaired person. If your loved one has Alzheimer's, dementia, autism or the like and you're worried about them wandering off, you can bring them in to get photographed and fingerprinted. Then if they ever become lost, it's easier to reunite the loved one with family.
You can hear more about the event from D/Sgt. Krebs in the video player above.