7News highlights missing persons cases on National Missing Persons Day

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 9:37 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - More than 600,000 people go missing each year, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

Those whose cases go unsolved are remembered on National Missing Persons Day on February 3.

Missing persons cases present unique challenges. First, authorities must decipher the circumstances behind the situation.

“A lot of difficulty in working missing persons complaints is, you know, some people don’t want to be found,” Beauregard Sheriff Mark Herford said. “Some people leave and don’t want us to find them. Some have medical issues where they might wind up in a hospital somewhere as a John Doe.”

“You’ve got a wide spectrum here of juvenile runaways that are 13 or 14 years old to an elderly dementia patient,” Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “Then, you have the ones in between that just say, ‘I’m leaving home. I don’t want to be married anymore. I’m leaving, and I don’t want to be found’.”

In 2021 Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office had 62 adult missing persons case. All were resolved, with the exception of one woman not being found, Roberta Cedillo. In 2022, all 67 missing persons cases were resolved, as well as all the 4 cases in 2023, so far.

CPSO has 8 missing persons cold cases:

  • 1986 - Londa Young
  • 1992 - Louise Romero
  • 1993 - Nelda Hardwick
  • 1999 - Willis Wyche
  • 2003 - Eddie Martin
  • 2004 - Richard Davidson Jr.
  • 2005 - Taurean Perkins
  • 2007 - David Briley

Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office has 4 unsolved missing persons cases:

  • Bambi Brantley was last seen on October 22, 1986 at age 26. Her present day age would be 63.  She was last seen in the area of Tower Trailer Park on Highway 8 West. 
  • Joel Grace was last seen on November 17, 2009 at age 67. His present day age would be 80. He was last seen in the area of Shady Oaks Trailer Park on Highway 10. 
  • Ronald Morton was last seen on October 9, 2013 at age 66. His present day age would be 76. He was last seen in the area of Elimelech Trailer Park on Highway 1211. 
  • Bradley Stracener was last seen on October 20, 2019 at age 30. His present age would be 33. He was last seen in the area of Shady Oaks Trailer Park on Highway 10.

Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office has resolved all 23 missing persons cases reported since 2020.

You often hear on tv, crime podcasts or movies the daunting 24-hour rule before making that call to law enforcement, but Mancuso said there’s no time restrictions when you feel something is wrong.

“You know when they come in,” Mancuso said. “You know when they come out, when they go to work, when they don’t go to work. Most of us know the people that are close to us that we love what their normal activities is. So, if you’re concerned and you think something is wrong, you call us, and we are going to try to find them and make sure they are okay.”