Families come together for missing adults

Published On: Feb 21 2012 09:46:04 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 21 2012 06:17:47 PM EST

Families came together at City Hall to honor those missing on Missing Adults Day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Families of Missing Loved Ones, the John Rowan Jr. Foundation and the Justice Coalition hosted Florida Missing Adult Day on Tuesday morning.

More than a dozen families of missing relatives gathered for the ceremony at Jacksonville's City Hall.

Mayor Alvin Brown, Sheriff John Rutherford and City Council President Stephen Joost joined the families of missing adults, including those representing Yvonne Belcher, Michael Austin Davis, Rosemary Day, Mark Degner, Bryan Hayes, Sheena Johnson, Jackie Markham, Kelly Rothwell, John Rowan, Joshua Smith, Chasity Starr and Rebecca Ware.

IMAGES: Missing adults in northeast Florida

Family members are asking for the public's help in finding their relatives, some of whom have been missing for more than 25 years.

"I would keep going to the end of the earth 'cause I know I'll never see him alive again, but I do want to find his body and put him to rest in a place where he belongs," Rowan's mother, Peg Rowan said.

The Rowans have spent the last 11 years going on with their lives, wondering what happened to their son.

"The pain, the ache gets worse. It never ever goes away," Rowan said.

She's not alone in that feeling. The other families in attendance are trying to keep their relatives' memories alive and find out what happened to them.

Day, one of the new cases, has been missing for nine months.

"It's hard. I wish she could come back to us," her mother, Ligaya Day, said.

Her parents were at the ceremony hoping to encourage others to give clues to what happened to their daughter.

"If you see this, I know you're missing for a reason, but we just want you to come home," said Gerry Day, Rosemary Day's father. "Of course, we would be really glad to see you."

There were many other familiar faces there, all of the families feeling the same uneasy feelings and wishing their family member would walk through the door.

"It gets the boys' faces out on the streets again," said Joice Baldwin, the grandmother of a missing boy.

The group of families are pleading for help. They say no matter the age or background, every single person who goes missing deserves to be looked for.

If you know anything about any of these cases or if you think you see any of the missing adults, call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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