The Center of Hope’s 13th Annual NYS Missing Persons Day is at the NYS Museum today, Saturday, April 5. The morning session is reserved for families and friends of missing people to have an opportunity for discussion on ways to cope and how to keep HOPE alive, according to Center founders Doug & Mary Lyall. The Ballston Spa couple’s daughter Suzanne went missing in 1998 while getting off a bus at UAlbany’s uptown campus.
Families will be able to submit their DNA samples for comparison to unidentified decedents. Information tables and knowledgeable people in the field will be available, including the New York State Police and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice.
At 1:00 p.m., the program will open to the public. It will include inspirational speakers, music and the presentation of the HOPE award. The featured presenter will be Carol Ryan who will speak on nurturing hope and supporting a victim family. She has contacted nearly 6,000 families through her efforts as a consultant with Team Hope, a parent support program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Additionally, The Center for HOPE will present a check to the Rensselaer County “Search and Rescue” to cover the cost of adding Mavis, a bloodhound, to their team. Also, there will be a demonstration of the bloodhound's ability to locate a missing person. The closing ceremony, including the bloodhound demonstration, will be at the Missing Persons Remembrance monument adjacent to the museum.