There’s surely no worse, gut-wrenching experience in the world than having one’s child go missing.
But having a parent, or grandparent or adult child go missing can be pretty gut-wrenching, too. Finding missing persons, and particularly missing adults, is what the Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones is all about.
Frank Mahoney, a retired New York police officer, founded the nonprofit group just over a year ago. After becoming involved with Nevada Child Seekers, Mahoney, in talking to local police, realized that, while organizations existed to locate missing children, “nobody was helping them with the elderly.”
And that’s where the Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones — which recently won a “community impact” award from the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross’s “Heroes of Southern Nevada Awards” program — can help.
According to Mahoney, about 8,000 adults a year “come up missing in this town.”
Some become lost. Others don’t want to be found. But, in every case, the center helps local law enforcement agencies search for missing persons, allowing them to then be reunited with their families.
The process begins when police receive a missing persons report. Police may call the center, which then will dispatch volunteer searchers — Mahoney says there are about 25 — who cruise neighborhoods, post fliers, visit casinos and do whatever else they can to help find the missing person.
Many of the older adults the center searches for turn out to have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related conditions and simply walk off and become lost, Mahoney says.
According to Mahoney, the group last year worked on 151 cases, “and we closed 133 of them.”
Donations are welcome, as are volunteers. A willingness to donate time is, Mahoney says, “all it takes.”
For more information, visit the group’s Web site (www.ncmlo.org)
Contact reporter John Przybys at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0280.