The group Missouri Missing helps raise awareness about the nearly 13 hundred people missing in our state.
The two founders of Missouri Missing — Marianne Asher Chapman and Peggy Florence — formed the group after finding limited community resources when their daughters went missing.
Florence’s daughter, Jasmine Haslag, was in her late twenties when she went missing more than two years ago.
Asher Chapman’s daughter, Michelle Angela Yarnell, “Angie,” has been gone for about six years now. She was also in her twenties. Her husband has allegedly admitted to murdering her, but Acher Chapman says her body’s never been found and so she still considers her missing.
Asher Chapman says the group assisted in the recent Elizabeth Olten case in Central Missouri.
She says Missouri Missing printed and distributed hundreds of flyers and buttons with Olten’s photo — as they do in other searches for missing children and adults — and they help families with food and by offering emotional support. She says each missing person case reminds her that her own daughter has never been found.
Little Elizabeth Olten was found murdered two days after she disappeared. Asher Chapman says if she was still missing, Missouri Missing would still be searching.
The court will decide Nov. 18 whether the 15-year-old suspect in this case will be tried as an adult.
Asher Chapman says resources are improving, such a DNA center in Texas that keeps family members’ DNA on file. That way when an unidentified body is found, their DNA can be run through the system to find possible family members.
The Missouri Highway Patrol has recently expanded their Web site on Missing Persons. There are nearly 1,300 people — children and adults — missing in the state. The patrol’s Web site offers an interactive map, photos, statistics and more.