Roughly 4,000 people are missing in Michigan, families of loved one gather for support

There are thousands of people in our state considered missing. Their families are left living with the pain of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. Some of those families find comfort and strength in one another as they can relate to someone who knows what they're going through.

Inspector Sarah Krebs of the Michigan State Police said that there are approximately 4,000 missing people in Michigan at any given time.

On Thursday, Madonna University honored the missing at the 13th Annual Missing Persons Event. The event aims to raise awareness, lend support, and share the stories of the missing.

Kevin Graves was 28 when he vanished from the Electric Music Festival in Rothbury in 2018. His father, Gary Graves, shared the impact of his son's disappearance. 

"It's been hell, especially for my wife and me because he called his mother every day, called his sister every day," Graves said.

Inspired by her uncle's disappearance, Kevin's niece, Alexis Theck, decided to major in forensic science with a determination to help as many families as possible. 

"It pushes me so much harder because I want to help as many families get the answers they need and maybe even our family along the way."

The Missing in Michigan Association, founded in 2010, plays a crucial role in connecting the families of missing persons to law enforcement agencies. Additionally, it provides support by connecting them to individuals who understand their experiences since they are going through the same ordeal.

Contrary to popular belief, not every missing persons case ends up being a homicide, as emphasized by Krebs. 

"Some of our missing people that go missing are high-risk people that lead high-risk lifestyles. Those are the ones that take longer to figure out — are they a foul play case or are they just taking a break?"