You are viewing lyall

Suzanne Lyall's Journal
 
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in Suzanne Lyall's LiveJournal:

    Monday, March 4th, 2002
    3:13 pm
    Missing 4 Years
    A parents' plea for helpToday marks the fourth anniversary of Suzanne Lyall's disappearance.BALLSTON SPA, N.Y., March 2 - It has been four years since missing U-Albany co-ed Suzanne Lyall vanished on her way home from work. The case may be old, but Suzanne's parents want to make sure it is never forgotten.
    "It's hard to believe that it's been that long," are the words Doug, Suzanne's father, uttered today. On March 2, 1998 U-Albany sophomore, Suzanne Lyall, left her part-time job at a store inside Crossgates Mall. Investigators say she took a CDTA bus back to campus. The driver says he saw her get off. That's the last time she was ever seen. Since that March night, there have been hundreds of leads...but nothing that would bring Suzy home. Now, on this difficult fourth anniversary, Doug and Mary Lyall say someone, somewhere, knows something about what happened to their daughter. "We're always hopeful that someone will watch us and maybe have a piece of conscience that will kick in and maybe allow them to overcome whatever is preventing them from coming forward with information and helping us out. That's what we're hoping will happen," said Doug. His wife, Mary added, "There's always someone out there who will see this, see us, and we'll get a telephone call and they'll say 'did you see this, have you tried that?' so people are still thinking about us and they're still trying to come up with creative ideas to help us. And it helps. It really does." The Lyalls use what's happened to them to help others. They pushed to get a special insert profiling some of New York's many cases of missing people included with state tax forms. They've also set up the center for hope and its web site to help those dealing with the pain of not knowing where a loved one is. Meanwhile the Lyall's ask that if someone is watching and thinks he can help them that, that person please call. If you have information you'd like to share, you can call New York State Police at 783-3211. You can also call the Lyall's directly at 885-1331.
    Thursday, December 20th, 2001
    3:32 pm
    Missing Persons
    New York State Income Tax Packets To Contain Missing Children Bios and Safety Tips


    Albany, NY-New York Governor George E. Pataki announced Tuesday that a unique special insert in 2001 New York State personal income tax packets will be used to help promote greater public awareness of the issue of missing children and young adults.
    Suzanne Lyall was reported missing from the State University of New York at Albany on March 2, 1998
    The State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) worked with Douglas and Mary Lyall of Ballston Spa in producing the special publication. The Lyalls' daughter, Suzanne, was reported missing from the State University of New York at Albany on March 2, 1998. Earlier this year, Governor Pataki designated April 6, Suzanne Lyall's birthday, as Missing Persons Day in New York State.
    "Given the wide distribution of this material, we think this publication could help save lives," Governor Pataki said. "The Lyalls have proven to be profiles in courage by turning a personal tragedy into a crusade on behalf of the missing, and I'm grateful for all the help they have provided in putting together this publication."
    The insert will be part of the personal income tax instruction booklet to be mailed to taxpayers beginning January 3. The information will also be produced as a special, stand-alone booklet that will be distributed along with tax forms in bulk to libraries, post offices, banks and accountants in mid-December along with tax forms.
    The publication contains pictures and information on missing children and young adults, as well as online safety rules and general safety tips and a letter from the Lyalls.
    Douglas and Mary Lyall said, "We are grateful to Governor Pataki, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Division of Criminal Justice Services for their assistance in developing this important publication. For each missing person, at least 12 people are affected in one way or another. The absent are always present to those left behind. Together, we can make a difference."
    DCJS Director Katherine N. Lapp said, "More than 20,000 children are reported missing every year in the State. This publication and the hard work and commitment of the Lyalls will help to focus the public spotlight on this very important issue."
    State Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur J. Roth said, "I'm pleased that our tax forms will be used to perform this valuable public service."
    The Lyalls have also formed the non-profit Center for HOPE which is raising funds to create a "National Remorial for Missing Persons" where people could go to reflect or remember a family member or friend who is missing.
    Saturday, December 8th, 2001
    6:29 pm
    Center for HOPE
    Missing persons

    Ballston Spa-- Lyall family working to establish national center to
    assist grieving relatives

    By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
    First published: Thursday, November 29, 2001



    Doug and Mary Lyall, parents of missing University at Albany student
    Suzanne Lyall, want to transform the regional Center for Hope
    organization they co-founded into the National Center for Hope.

    The center would be a meeting place for grieving family members of
    missing persons as well as a clearing house of information.

    The couple will hold a fund-raising event for their national plans from
    5:30 to 8 p.m. today the Milton Community Center, 310 Northline
    Road, to update people on their work on behalf of missing people and
    to try to obtain funds for a building that would serve as the center.

    Mary Lyall, a Milton resident since 1972, said the aim is to buy or
    construct a building for the center somewhere in the Capital Region.

    Her daughter, Suzanne Lyall, disappeared without a trace on March 2,
    1998. She was last seen stepping off a bus at UAlbany's uptown
    campus around 9:30 p.m. after a night of work at Babbage's Software in
    Crossgates Mall.

    "We don't know what happened to her. We have absolutely no idea,''
    Mary Lyall said. "I talked to her the night before and the next day she
    was gone.''

    There's over 4,000 missing people in New York. The Lyalls want them
    to be more than snapshots with missing dates.

    They formed the Center for Hope as a non-profit organization to assist
    other families faced with the pain of missing a loved-one. Mary Lyall
    now envisions a "remorial,'' her term for an office that will also serve as a
    reunion place and memorial for families.

    The family has worked with local and state legislators to enact laws like
    the Campus Safety Act and Suzanne's bill, which also is known as the
    Assault and Abduction Free School Zone bill.

    Mary Lyall said the center would be adorned with the names of missing
    people from across the state and eventually from across the nation.

    "There's been various sites suggested. We have an architect in Troy
    helping us,'' Mary Lyall said.

    Anyone wanting to make a donation may send a tax deductible
    contribution to the Center for Hope, 278 Rowland St., Ballston Spa,
    NY, 12020. All contributions will be handled by the Lyall's fiscal agent,
    the Council of Community Services of Albany.

    Local officials and representatives from the State Police and the state
    Department of Missing Persons will be at the event to provide
    information.


















    NEWSPAPER ADS
    Saturday, November 10th, 2001
    11:51 am
    Center for HOPE
    CARI SCRIBNER, For The Saratogian November 10, 2001




    BALLSTON SPA -- Doug and Mary Lyall of Ballston Spa have founded a new nonprofit organization that encourages people to remember the missing.
    Their 19-year-old daughter, Suzanne, a student at SUNY Albany, disappeared without a trace on March 2, 1998. Despite no resolution to the situation, the couple has remained undeterred.''We have steadfastly held on to the hope that someday she will be returned to us,'' Mary Lyall said. ''We'll always hope our daughter and other missing children will come back home.''For the last two years, the Lyalls have devoted themselves to finding ways to connect people whose lives have been changed by the disappearance of a loved one. Friday, they announced the establishment of the Center for HOPE (Healing Our Painful Emotions), to promote and provide support, education and healing for survivors. A fund-raiser on Nov. 29 will generate start-up funds for the nonprofit center, which is already endorsed by state Sen. Joseph Bruno, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco and Gov. Pataki's office.The Lyalls also hope to set up a National Remorial for Missing Persons, to be placed somewhere in the Capital District. The unusual name of the project was carefully chosen.''The word 'memorial,' in memory of, sounded too final,'' Mary Lyall said. ''We remember them every day, and every day we wait for the missing to return.''Plans for the remorial call for glass blocks, each etched with the name of a missing person, illuminated by lights to convey a spirit of hope. Through the Center for HOPE, the Lyalls also plan to offer referrals and advocacy services, establish an online support group, expedite the development of a national uniform database for all missing persons and sponsor professionally run seminars for survivors.Through the work of the Lyalls and about six other volunteers, profound changes have been initiated in local and statewide measures regulating missing persons. The New York State Campus Safety Act and the Assault and Abduction Free School Zone bills were passed; a computerized missing person alert system was set up to relay information to booths and rest stops on the NYS Thruway; and April 6, 2002 will be the first Missing Persons' Day, authorized by Gov. Pataki. Thanks to the Lyalls' work, all New York tax forms will now include a pull-out section containing photos of missing persons, along with a letter mentioning the Center for HOPE. This alone will reach 3.5 million people.Now, the Lyalls are asking everyone in the local community to support the Center for Hope.''Whenever people stop to think about it, they share our feelings, and I still have people in grocery stores come up to give me a hug,'' Mary Lyall said. ''This project helps us to move forward, because if we just sat here and dwelled on our situation, we'd be stuck, and that doesn't help anyone. We can do better than that.''Donations to the Center for HOPE can be sent to 278 Rowland St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020.
    Wednesday, November 7th, 2001
    11:37 pm
    Article on Missing Persons
    PARENTS OF MISSING CHILDREN KE
    .. 10/21/01 Publication: The Sunday Gazette Section: Lifestyles Edition:
    Final Published: 10/21/01 Page: H-01 Caption: DAVID J. ROGOWSKI Gazette
    Photographer J. Douglas Lyall, father of missing Albany student Suzanne
    Lyall.

    Tammie McCormick
    Parents of missing children keep on waiting

    Byline: By DAPHNE STEIN
    When your child is missing, no news is not good news.
    And the parents of Tammie McCormick and Suzanne Lyall say they are tired
    of living day to day with no news. They say they just want their daughters
    back -- alive or dead.
    McCormick vanished in 1986. She was 13 years old.
    Lyall disappeared in 1998 a month shy of her 20th birthday.
    Both families say that for their own sanity, they try to maintain life as
    it was before their daughters disappeared. But no amount of trying to achieve
    normalcy can alter the fact that their lives have been indelibly changed.
    McCormick's mother, Nancy Hieber, hasn't seen her daughter in more than 15
    years. "She's been gone longer than I knew her," Hieber said.
    Since that day in mid-April so many years ago, no one -- from the Saratoga
    Springs Police to Gerald Nance, the case manager at the National Center for
    Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., to McCormick's family --
    has heard a word from or about her.
    Odds are poor that McCormick, who would now be 29, is still alive.
    Nance, a "cold case" expert who is assigned disappearances in which few or
    no leads exist, said that in 74 percent of cases where a child is abducted by
    ch few or a stranger, victims are dead within three hours of being snatched.
    Perhaps that's why Hieber said: "I would be happy to find a body." She
    knows it doesn't make sense to hope for anything else. "She's not going to
    wal knowk in the front door."

    Suffering endures

    She doesn't articulate those thoughts often, though. Speaking for her
    entire family, Hieber said: "We try not to discuss it. When you have
    something like this, you think about it every day of your life. Life goes on.
    thingYou cannot dwell on it, or I would be so depressed I would not be able
    tothing function."
    At the same time, however, Hieber said: "It would be wonderful if she is
    still alive, but that would be really having my hopes up."
    Although McCormick has been missing about four times longer than Lyall,
    Lyall's parents, J. Douglas and Mary Lyall, already know the danger of
    getting their hopes up.
    In a recent interview at their Ballston Spa home, the couple said they
    can't put a finger on the worst moment since Suzanne's March 1998
    disappearance from Crossgates Mall. One of the worst moments since their
    daughter, a University at Albany student, went missing was when a campus
    police officer called and said a body fitting Lyall's description had been
    found.
    "We had to wait four or five days for [police] to identify the body. And
    then it turned out not to be her," Doug Lyall said, sinking back into his
    chair.
    With every new lead, which are getting less frequent, the Lyalls wonder if
    this time their suffering will end.
    While she waits, Mary Lyall theorizes that Lyall, then 19, might have
    become pregnant and gone away in shame. Lyall's disappearance closely
    followed the announcement that her older, married sister was expecting.
    "We're not disregarding any possibility, because we don't know. In our
    minds, anything is possible, including alien abduction," said Doug Lyall, a
    retired rehabilitation counselor for the Capital District Psychiatric Center.
    Even so, Mary Lyall has trouble accepting that her daughter ran away. "She
    left her room as if she was coming back. Her computer was still running. I
    can;She 't imagine why she would run away -- why she would hurt us this
    long," Mary Lyall said.
    The Lyalls said they have heard stories about parents of missing children
    dying from the stress of day-to-day life without their loved ones. That is
    something they refuse to let happen to them.
    "We have to keep ourselves very busy. That's how we do it," Mary Lyall
    said.
    Activities that have kept the couple busy in recent months include golf
    and bowling for Doug, portrait painting and helping friends with wedding
    preparations for Mary and, together, establishing a nonprofit foundation
    called The Center for Hope. The center will be a resource for families of
    missing children, providing services such as grief counseling and a place for
    people with similar situations to come together to learn to move on with
    life.
    Five categories

    A case manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Crime Information
    Center records reports of about 900,000 disappearances each year nationwide.
    According to research developed by U.S. Department of Justice, of those
    reports, approximately half are runaways. Half of the 463,000 runaways return
    within two days.
    Missing children cases are placed in five major categories by the National
    Crime Information Center:
    -- Juvenile -- in which there is no evidence of foul play.
    -- Endangered -- defined as missing while in the company of another person
    under circumstances endangering the child's physical safety.
    -- Involuntary -- defined as missing under circumstances indicating that
    the disappearance was not voluntary, such as an abduction.
    -- Disability -- defined as a person with a physical or mental disability
    who is missing and considered to be in immediate danger.
    -- Catastrophe -- defined as a person who has been reported missing
    following a disaster.

    Statistics for last year provided by the National Center for Missing and
    Exploited Children indicated that the number of juvenile cases had gone up
    about 0.2 percent over 1999 numbers, for a total of 685,617. Endangered cases
    had risen by nearly 6 percent to 120,726, and involuntary disappearances were
    down by 1.1 percent to 31,539 cases. Numbers for the other two categories
    were not provided.
    Statistics on how many nonrunaways are found were not available, but a
    variety of search groups have reported success in finding missing people,
    children and adults.
    That raises the question: Can a person really disappear?
    "They really can," said Hieber. "Tammie disappeared from our vision -- we
    don't see her, don't know where she is. So she has disappeared."
    "We are a living example of someone vanishing," Doug Lyall said.

    What parents can do

    Hieber and the Lyalls agree that there is no way to emotionally prepare
    for the possibility of a child's disappearance.
    Parents can, however, prepare physically. Nance recommended having
    personal information such as fingerprints and an up-to-date photo on file.
    "Two percent of kids who go missing are found alive, even after years,"
    Nance noted.
    Though they could not provide hard numbers, case managers at the National
    Center for Missing and Exploited Children all agreed that the longer the
    wait, the worse the odds become of finding a person alive, regardless of how
    old the person might have been upon disappearing.
    "When a child is missing for a long time, you have to prepare for [the]
    eventuality that the child may have to be identified through DNA," he said.
    With that in mind, Nance said: "Parents should collect DNA samples from
    their children." DNA can be extracted from the roots of hair strands, blood
    and the soft inner tissue of teeth, among other sources. Nance suggested
    savinod ang a bloody bandage, or keeping a baby tooth in a Zip-loc bag.
    It's too late for Hieber and the Lyalls to follow those tips. But these
    parents said until they get closure they will continue to talk about their
    missing children and let them know, if they're still out there, that their
    parents love them and want them home regardless of what they might have done
    while missing.
    Doug Lyall acknowledged that if his daughter comes home, it will take time
    to get used to who she now is. He and his wife would be delighted to cross
    that bridge, if only they can get to it.
    "We're stuck right now. We need to know [what happened]. That would allow
    us to move forward," Doug Lyall said.
    Source: Gazette Reporter
    Monday, October 29th, 2001
    10:26 pm
    Missing Adults
    Pataki vetoes policy bill on
    missing adults

    He calls mandate for action as rapid for adults as for children
    unnecessary burden

    By JOEL STASHENKO, Associated Press
    First published: Monday, October 29, 2001

    ALBANY -- Gov. George Pataki has vetoed a bill that he says would
    have unrealistically required police to respond to reports of missing
    persons, be they 8 or 80, with the same urgency.

    Pataki said the legislation would likely "unduly strain police resources''
    by treating the cases of missing adults -- who he said often turn out not
    to be in peril for a variety of reasons -- the same as those of missing,
    defenseless children.

    In fact, Pataki said in a veto message, "publicizing reports of all missing
    persons could desensitize the public to the reports, and might result in
    less attention to the more important and dangerous instances in which
    children are missing.''

    Thousands of people are reported missing each year in New York state,
    including more than 10,000 a year in New York City. Adults in that
    category often "have chosen to absent themselves'' voluntarily from
    society instead of being the victim of an accident or foul play, according
    to Pataki.

    The governor said that while vetoing the bill, he agreed with its goals and
    he told the State Police and state Division of Criminal Justice Services to
    set up a task force to work on protocols for how state and local police
    are supposed to respond to missing persons reports. Pataki directed the
    task force to "adopt a more flexible approach to the problem of missing
    adults without unnecessarily burdening law enforcement officials.''

    State Assemblyman William Magnarelli, a Syracuse Democrat, said
    Pataki was both misinterpreting the bill Magnarelli sponsored and
    ignoring the fact that people who are above the legal age of adulthood in
    New York -- 18 -- could be almost as vulnerable to injury or death as
    the children who turn up missing.

    Elderly people with Alzheimer's disease who wander away from their
    houses or nursing homes are as much in need of being immediately
    located as other missing people, Magnarelli argued.

    The legislation Pataki vetoed evolved into a much broader bill than
    Magnarelli first envisioned, the assemblyman said.

    Magnarelli said he initially wanted to encourage county officials
    statewide to voluntarily adopt what has come to be known in Texas as
    the "Amber plan.'' It is a missing-child notification system developed in
    the Dallas-Fort Worth area following the 1996 abduction and murder of
    a 9-year-old girl.

    At the behest of Albany state Assemblyman Jack McEneny, Magnarelli
    said he expanded the bill to include "Amber plan''-like emergency
    reporting when people ages 18 to 21 are missing. McEneny has been
    seeking for years to help the family of Suzanne Lyall, a missing
    University at Albany student who disappeared in 1998 after leaving her
    job at a mall. She was never found. Her family believes she was
    abducted, possibly by someone she knew.
    Saturday, August 4th, 2001
    9:13 am
    Victim or Survivor
    Grief Victim or Grief Survivor?

    Being a victim is a state of mind-dictated by others.
    A survivor dictates their own state of mind.
    A victim - fears the moments of grief.
    A survivor- welcomes those moments!
    A victim knows about feeling down and tries to stay up.
    A survivor knows feeling down is okay.
    A victim tries hard to hide the tears.
    A survivor never leaves home without kleenex.
    A victim struggles to maintain a state of normalcy.
    A survivor knows normal no longer exists.
    A victim gets caught in isolation.
    A survivor reaches out when they need to.
    A victim is afraid they in time will forget.
    A survivor knows they never will!!
    A victim sometimes feels guilty laughing.
    A survivor laughs through their tears.
    A victim tries at times to block out the memories.
    A survivor embraces memories of all kinds.
    A victim wants someone to cure their grief.
    A survivor just wants someone to share their journey.
    A victim struggles to get over their grief.
    A survivor fights to get through it.
    A victim tries to get on with their life.
    A survivor lives their life knowing nothing will ever be the same.
    A victim says oh I'm okay- then secretly cries.
    A survivor openly cries- and says I'm okay.

    Author Unknown
    Monday, July 30th, 2001
    8:43 pm
    Check out this article from the Times Union
    Living on hope
    Levy coverage hard on parents of missing UAlbany student Lyall By MARK McGUIRE, Staff writer First published: Monday, July 30, 2001 A young woman goes missing from a capital city. The police chase every lead, as the media sops up tidbits relevant and otherwise. Meanwhile, concerned parents appear before banks of microphones to plead for their daughter's safe return. Viewers and readers closely follow the case. Everybody's got an opinion. Everybody's got a theory. No, we're not talking about Chandra Levy. Suzanne Lyall, a University at Albany sophomore from Milton, disappeared on March 2, 1998. She was returning to the uptown campus from Crossgates Mall; a witness said she was last seen at the college's Collins Circle. A flurry of local and even national stories followed. The investigation soon focused on "Nike Man,'' a possible witness to the use of Lyall's ATM card shortly after her disappearance. A break in the case, investigators suggested, could come at any moment. Then the torrent of stories trickled down to once a week. Then once a month. Then ... nothing. More than three years after Lyall's disappearance, the case of Levy, a 24-year-old intern of Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., missing since April 30, remains Washington's favorite parlor game, and a growth industry for every television journalist not named Dan Rather. Parents Doug and Mary Lyall are among the few who can truly empathize with the plight of parents Robert and Susan Levy, whose anguish is chronicled daily. "This stuff is really painful'' to watch, Mary Lyall said. "We are reliving it. We are watching ourselves.'' In the years since their 19-year-old daughter disappeared, the Lyalls have become vocal advocates for missing persons. They usually follow the Levy story on MSNBC, but if a report pops up on another station, they'll stay with it. Why do they torture themselves? Because the Lyalls are willing to examine every scrap of information, every potential clue, that might bring closure to their purgatory. "I think, 'Is there something that I can pick up on, thoughts and ideas, that I can apply to our case?' '' Doug Lyall said. "We're making a choice to watch. (We believe) that we are getting some sort of benefit out of it.'' Maybe it's nothing more than the cold comfort of knowing they're not alone. The Levy story is particularly well suited to the needs of cable television news. It's awash with almost every type of accelerant for a media inferno: adultery, politics, hypocrisy and (maybe) murder. "Like our situation,'' Doug Lyall said, "it's a mystery.'' The Lyalls were reluctant participants in the media attention that surrounded their daughter's case, but came to the realization that journalists -- and publicity -- could be an asset. They're still a little uncomfortable with reporters. While the Lyall case has generated some national attention -- the parents have appeared on talk shows and news programs -- Doug Lyall said his daughter's disappearance just isn't juicy enough to sustain media interest beyond the Capital Region. The Levy case has staying power. "Sometimes people view it as, 'Yes, there's a missing college student -- end of story,' '' he said. "There's no senator, no affair. Nothing.'' The FBI is investigating nearly 100,000 missing persons cases in the United States, about 4,000 in New York state. Students who were freshmen when Suzanne Lyall disappeared graduated last spring. To UAlbany students, she has been transformed from a friend and fellow student into a character in a cautionary tale about crime on college campuses. The Lyalls don't care if thousands see their faces or read their quotes. In fact, when they go before a camera they are speaking to only one or two people: The person or persons who abducted their daughter. Maybe the next story, or the next, will prompt a crisis of conscience in the perpetrator. Maybe somebody who knows what happened has had a falling out with the culprit. Maybe somebody holding a scrap of information about that night -- something they might think of as trivial -- will step forward, and the case will crack open. Maybe they'll read or see the latest account. Or the next. Maybe. "There are probably people who are sick and tired of seeing us on TV,'' Doug Lyall said with a resigned smile. "Yes, but ... we're doing it for a reason.'' State Police Investigator Dave Madden agrees. "Media attention is always good, especially if a case gets old,'' said Madden, who inherited the Lyall case last year. "What we're finding in the Lyall case is there are occasional new shows and new programs, and they generate new leads. "You hope it reaches that one person,'' he said. It comes with a price for the family. Mary Lyall recalled going on Sally Jesse Raphael's show in 1999, only to get sandbagged by a psychic. "He gave a great story (that Suzanne) was dead and her body parts were all over the place,'' she said. The family still runs a Web site (http://www.global2000.net/suzy/). Information -- tips, ideas, theories and general support -- still comes in from across the county. Then there are entries like that from "Elad'' of Merion, Pa.: "i know were shes is i killed her (all sic).'' Stuff like that comes with the territory. If there's one thing for the Lyalls worse than dealing with the demands of media ("It can drain you,'' Mary Lyall said), it's facing the prospect that one day the reporters will stop calling. They realize that the most important thing in their lives has become yesterday's news. Someday Doug, 59, and Mary, 57, will put away the articles, the computer printouts and the books on missing persons, and move on with their lives. But not yet. There's always hope in that next story. Today the Lyalls function more on hope than belief that their daughter is still alive. "It would be some sort of major miracle,'' Doug Lyall said. "I'm operating under hope. The chances of her being alive are one in -- what? -- 10 million.'' Mary Lyall is more optimistic, if only because she has to be. "I continue to hope every day. I think where she might be. "When it snows in the winter, I look out the window and I hope she's warm.'' After three years ("a blur,'' Mary Lyall calls it) of waiting for answers, another winter is heading their way. And with it, another story.
    Monday, July 16th, 2001
    11:54 pm
    Young Women Gone Missing
    By JESSICA WEHRMAN
    Scripps Howard News Service
    Suzanne Lyall was a sweet-faced college sophomore when she was last seen stepping off a city bus at the Albany campus of the State University of New York on March 2, 1998.
    Campus police, thinking she'd stayed with a friend, started looking for her, but waited almost 48 hours before telling state police she had disappeared. Her family, stuck in an endless nightmare, argues the time lost was crucial. Lyall has not been found.
    Lyall, 19, like Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy, 24, presented officers with a challenge many face when dealing with missing persons in their 20s. What's the best way to deal with a missing person who is legally an adult, but socially not unlike a teen-ager?
    While some young adults are abducted, others run off, forging a new identity with their newfound independence and money in their pockets. Others kill themselves and are not found for months. Regardless of the circumstance, because they are older than 18, it's often more difficult to find them.
    "Every adult has the right to disappear," said Kym Pasqualini, founder of the Center for Missing Adults in Phoenix, Ariz. "And we respect that right."
    As of June 1, the FBI was investigating 98,456 missing-persons cases. Most missing persons _ 39,224 _ were ages 15 through 17. The second-largest group _ 17,598 _ was between the ages of 18 and 29. Teens 10 through 14 were the third-largest group _ 14,033.
    Missing adults, Pasqualini said, do not get the focus _ or the resources _ that children and teens do.
    "When people think of the word 'missing,' they think of children that have been victimized," she said. "It pulls at America's heartstrings. That sensitivity for missing adults is not there."
    Pasqualini said missing persons older than 30 are more likely to be men. Missing persons 18 through 30, she said, are more likely to be women.
    Andrea Gibby, executive director of Child Quest International, based in San Jose, Calif., said young women are often abducted by acquaintances.
    "Often times, young women become very comfortable with people that they meet," she said. "At that age you're not thinking about danger as much as you should. You're just sort of infallible."
    Those abducted by strangers, she said, are rarely seen alive again.
    Not all missing persons are abducted. Emotional or mental health issues, such as depression, can cause young adults to run away. Cathleen Carolan, marketing manager for the Chicago-based National Runaway Switchboard, said many runaways leave home because of problems with their families. Others simply leave.
    "Some kids just decide they're old enough to try this, and see what happens," she said. "It's not typical behavior, but it's not out of the ordinary. Kids just say, 'Let's see what the world is like,' and they go."
    Those cases are agonizing for families, said Stephen Miller, deputy director of operations for the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations.
    "There are family members desperate to find out if their loved ones are OK, or all right, or why they vanished off the face of the earth," he said. "The not-knowing issue is probably the toughest thing for the families to deal with."
    Because of the right to privacy, those missing do not have to tell loved ones where they are when they are found, said Joe McKey, program administrator for Texas' Missing Persons Clearinghouse.
    "You're talking about people 18 to 35, they're not under anyone's thumb," he said. "Is the person missing because he didn't come home from work last night, or was it a child who didn't come home from school?"
    Because of this, criteria including disability, catastrophe or endangerment is often required before databases list young adults as missing.
    For years, little information was available on missing adults. That might change thanks to the passage of a federal bill last year aimed at establishing a national clearinghouse for information on missing adults. The bill will feed federal funds to Pasqualini's center. It was created after the mother of one missing teen could not receive help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children because her daughter was 18.
    Congress is now trying to find the $1 million a year it will take to pay for the center over four years.
    A 1999 New York law requires all colleges and universities to have plans that will allow them to swiftly investigate missing-student cases. Lyall's parents fought for the law.
    The federal money brings some relief to Roger Chiang, whose sister, Joyce, 28, disappeared from Washington, D.C., in January 1999. Her body was found in the Potomac River in nearby Northern Virginia three months later. The cause of death remains undetermined.
    More than two years after her death, he still wonders if police didn't take the case seriously enough because she was an adult. He is frustrated by FBI suggestions that she killed herself _ they have no evidence to conclude she did, he said.
    Teresa Vanderheiden of Clements, Calif., said officials were quick to believe her daughter, Cyndi, ran away when she disappeared in 1998. Cyndi, 25, was at a bar the night of her disappearance. Her car was found the next day in a cemetery.
    "The first thing they want to say is she ran away or she just didn't come home that night," Vanderheiden said. "Getting people to pay attention and get it out there that she isn't a runaway, that there definitely was something wrong, was very hard."
    Police never found Cyndi Vanderheiden's body, but one man is on death row and another faces trial in her death. Yet Teresa Vanderheiden can't quite say goodbye.
    "I still have this hope she'll come walking through the door," she said.
    http://www.missingadults.org/
    http://www.global2000.net/suzy/
    http://www.lodinet.com/cyndi/
    http://www.childquest.org
    (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com)
    AP-NY-07-13-01 1403EDT
    B>bc-missing-net(sh)


    Casting a wide Net in the search for missing persons


    Scripps Howard News Service
    With NETRESOURCES
    With photo/graphic: SH01G204MISSINGNET; SH01G205MISSINGNET
    By LISA HOFFMAN
    Scripps Howard News Service
    She had dark, wildly curly hair, a married boyfriend, and stood on the cusp of a new life. Then, inexplicably, she vanished. Though her parents pressed them to act quickly and focus on the boyfriend, police were slow to investigate.
    While those circumstances are similar to aspects of the globally watched Chandra Levy mystery, the 3-year-old unsolved case of missing Staten Island, N.Y., receptionist Anna Marie Scivetti has attracted far less attention.
    Scivetti, 35 and petite, disappeared Aug. 10, 1998, after moving out of the apartment she shared with her allegedly abusive boyfriend Charles Chorman. He maintains his innocence in her disappearance and says there's no proof a crime was even committed, even though police strongly suspect foul play. Chorman was the last person Scivetti was known to speak with, and no sign of her has surfaced since.
    But on the Internet, Scivetti _ and dozens of other missing adults desperately sought by grieving family and frustrated police _ are very much alive.
    FriendsofAnna.com, founded by Scivetti's sister Angel DeRuvo, is an emotional archive of the Scivetti case as well as the cyber-headquarters of DeRuvo's advocacy movement to increase public awareness of missing people, lobby for reform of police practices and help families of those who have disappeared.
    "The only way to ensure that the missing aren't forgotten by the community is to provide constant reminders," DeRuvo wrote on the Web site.
    Dozens of other sites are devoted to the disappeared. And law-enforcement experts say the Internet offers one of the best tools they now have for disseminating information quickly and widely about the missing _ tacks considered crucial in cracking these notoriously difficult cases.
    _Many sites are maintained by families and friends caught in the nightmare limbo of having a missing loved one, in some cases for five, 10, 20 years. A co-worker of Jodi Huisentruit, a 27-year-old Iowa television news anchor who failed to arrive for work June 27, 1995, and has been missing since, dutifully updates the Web chronicle of her case and reminds the world she still has not been found.
    "6/27/01 _ 6 years _ still no answers," is the latest entry on the site. (http://showcase.netins.net/web/keithh)
    _ Virtually every major police department _ and many smaller ones _ have their own missing-person sites displaying photos and descriptions of the cases they are trying to solve and requesting the public's help.
    The Belmont, Calif., police department, for instance, highlights the Oct. 14, 1996, disappearance of Ylva Hagner, 42, a product manager at a Palo Alto, Calif., software company and a Stanford University graduate student. Her car was found abandoned near a small motel a few days later but she has never been heard from since. (http://www.belmont.gov/localgov)
    _ The FBI has one, too, where Levy ranks No. 1 on the current 20-person roster. (http://www.fbi.gov/). Also on the list is Kristin Denise Smart, 19, who was last seen at 2 a.m., May 25, 1996, when was walking back to her dorm room at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo from an off-campus party. Wearing black surfing shorts and a cropped T-shirt, Smart had neither money, credit cards nor identification with her. Police suspect foul play.
    _ Several nonprofit operations have established cyber-clearinghouses that link inquiries from worried families with police information.
    One is Missing Persons Throughout the World, a one-man Web site fueled by occasional donations from grateful relatives. Ken Richards, a former British coroner's and crime-scene investigator who now is a Web designer in Portage, Mich., has developed his site into a clearinghouse that police and families around the world turn to as an informal central databank.
    The free site _ http://www.mispers.com _ gets 200 to 300 visits a day, with nearly 200,000 in all since Richards launched it in 1998.
    As a resource for law enforcement and families, the Internet is "absolutely superb," serving as a worldwide alert system that can solve a case in a fraction of the time it took in pre-Internet times, Richards said. It is especially useful in matching unidentified bodies with missing people.
    Kathy Kupka also calls the Internet a godsend. Her sister, Kristine Kupka, 28 and pregnant by her boyfriend and former Baruch College teacher, disappeared on Oct. 24, 1998. She had left Kathy a phone message that she was going to help her married boyfriend clean his new Queens, N.Y., apartment. She was last seen walking off with boyfriend Darshanand "Rudy" Persaud. No sign of her has surfaced since.
    Kristine, who had told her sister that Persaud feared her pregnancy would ruin his life and begged her to have an abortion, intended to raise the child alone. Still, Kristine harbored some fear that Persaud might take matters into his own hands, Kathy Kupka said.
    Even so, it took New York police five days to even begin to investigate Kristine's disappearance. Neither Persaud nor anyone else has ever been charged. Frustrated, Kathy Kupka put up a billboard on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, offering a $25,000 reward for information.
    In February, she also created a Web site _ http://www.kristinekupka.com _ full of photos, details of the case, suggestions for getting involved and links to other missing-persons Web sites.
    "It's incredible. We've already had 20,000 hits," Kathy Kupka said. Not only is she heartened that word of her sister's sad fate has been so widely spread, but encouraged by the messages of hope that have poured in from strangers around the world.
    "It really makes me feel so good that people really care," Kathy Kupka said. "It makes me feel Kristine is not forgotten."

    Sunday, July 8th, 2001
    9:07 pm
    Only time will tell
    Letter to the Editor

    Only time will tell. As I look at my Ballston Spa High School yearbook and read that title verse, I think all of that time has told in the past five years since I graduated. A lot happens in just five years and some say that the 1st five years after high school are the most defining years of ones life. I know they have been for me. But, the most defining moment was not when I graduated college, not when I married my high school sweetheart, nor was it when my husband & I bought our first home. No, instead it was on March 2, 1998. That was the day my friend and classmate, Suzanne Lyall, disappeared from her college campus.
    Why was such a dreadful day the most defining moment in the past five years of my life? I will never forget that night, watching the news and seeing Suzys high school graduation photo accompany the story of a missing co-ed. Things like that dont happen to people like us. But, they do. Since Suzy disappeared, I look at life a little more closely. I treasure every moment with my friends and family. I stop to enjoy the little things in life. And, I practice safe habits, like always locking my doors. Suzy and I were not close in high school, but she was my friend. She influenced my life then and she still does now. She was always a smiling face, a friendly hello. She would help me with the computers in the library and I would help her giggle through French classes. She was and with Gods Grace still is a wonderful person.
    When Suzy, I, and the rest of our class graduated in June of 1996, we were ready to conquer the world, we were ready to make our mark. Not two years later, Suzy was gone, leaving unanswered questions as her mark. In these past three years, my husband and I have grown close to Doug and Mary, Suzys loving and devoted parents. Through their love for their baby girl, they are making their mark on New York. They are working to make campuses safe for all students. We should commend them for their ability to use their pain for their daughter as a catalyst for the safety of other peoples children. Suzannes Law must be passed, not just for Suzys memory, but for the safety of New Yorks college students.
    So, in June of 2001, as we look back through five years of sweat, joy, and tears, we see our accomplishments, our downfalls, and we see our Suzy. As we look to the next five years, Only time will tell what life will bring. We anticipate the day when Suzy is found. But until then, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, we love you, Suzy, and hope that someday you will be able to come home.


    Rene S. Janack-Cook
    Ballston Lake, NY 12019
    Tuesday, May 29th, 2001
    9:03 pm
    Quote Of The Day
    Evil flourishes where good men do nothing
    -Felix Martin MD
    Sunday, May 27th, 2001
    11:34 am
    Suzanne's Law
    After the NYS Senate passed the "Assault and Abduction Free School Zone Bill" for the third time, many people assumed that the bill had become law. Of course, the bill is still stalled in the Assembly where Sheldon Silver refuses to allow it to be brought up for a vote. This is a very frustrating system that does not take into consideration the best interest of the citizens. Whether the bill has merit seems not at issue and opposition appears to be strickly political in nature. So far, the 25,000 petition signatures have not been enough to force Silver's hand. Maybe 50,000 will be needed.
    Saturday, April 7th, 2001
    2:11 pm
    Recent News Articles
    Because of the anniversary of Suzanne's disappearance, there have been many recent articles regarding the progress of the proposed Assault & Abduction Free School Zone bill. We can read these articles from the News Article and Press Release Archive
    2:07 pm
    Welcome to our Live Journal!
    Here you will find latest news and words from the Lyall Family. Thanks for visiting!
Help us Find Suzanne Lyall   About LiveJournal.com