Families with missing loved ones find support, hope at UNT Health Science Center

Families with missing loved ones find support, hope at UNT Health Science Center

FORT WORTH -- More than a dozen families arrived at the University of North Texas Health Science Center on Sunday in hopes of finding a loved one that has disappeared or vanished.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, NamUs, has been housed through the school since 2011. But the gathering Sunday represented the first time they've hosted an all-access event in North Texas where people could register X-rays, dental records, DNA and police reports.

Ladessa Lofton and her family showed up to raise awareness for Brandon Lawson, who went missing in 2013.

"I have [had] hope of finding him but but I don't get that feeling anymore.  I'm numb, like I'm not going to find him," says Ladessa.

She and Brandon were high school sweethearts in the small community of Joshua, Texas.

He went missing in west Texas in August of 2013. His car was found on a rural road.

"We just want resolution. My children are without their father. But hearing your children say that, it just keeps you pushing to do that extra step to find him," says Ladessa.

One family that has found resolution is the Frost clan from Kansas.

Francine Frost went missing from a grocery store parking lot in 1981.

But the family had few answers until she was positively identified last year. Her killer hasn't been caught.

"I'll never forget the phone call, the panic, and the disbelief. You don't know what to do," says Vicki Curl, Francine's daughter.

They attended the event to help other families know that even after 35 years, answers can be found. 

"Don't give up," says Vicki. "We can't exhume bodies on our own. We have to have people that care so we want to inspire the volunteers, please don't stop caring about us."

BJ Spamer says NamUs is so important right now because there are so many missing people, with more than 950 registered in Texas alone.

A program of the U.S. Department of Justice, NamUs is a national database and resource center that helps resolve long-term missing and unidentified persons cases.

"If we see one or two families, we'd consider it a success. We've now seen over a dozen," says Spamer about Sunday's turnout.

For more information on NamUs, simply click here.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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