By Susan Murphy-Milano
The phone rings around the clock. Families from all walks of life looking for someone to listen and help them find their missing child, sister, brother, daughter, mother, grandmother, father or friend. On the other the voice answers "Cue Center, Monica speaking."
If the person's case is not registered with the Cue Center for Missing Persons, Monica Caison or a volunteer explains the process to the caller guiding them to either fill out the forms on line or if they do not have access to a computer, they are mailed directly to the person. Once the forms are completed and the case is registered, the work begins.
Since 1994, this dynamo of a woman has helped thousands of families across the country recover their missing loved ones. Last week while returning from Mineral Wells Texas on a search for Krishonda Townsend, 19 years of age, who went missing on July 4, 2010, she got a call while on her way back from that search, literally turning her car around and headed on another missing persons case with her agency, Crystal Gayle Soles from Andrews, South Carolina.
Crystal Soles, 28, had been missing since Jan. 24, 2005. Her mother said at the time of her daughters disappearance that Crystal called her father from the Shaw’s Corner Store in Andrews saying she was on her way home. She never made it home that night. Last week, Monica Caison who headed up the search along with dive teams, law enforcement and volunteers, recovered her remains and brought her home.
The work of the Cue Center gives families hope. What the public does not see behind the scene's is the care and devotion given to each missing person's case and the family. Before a search, Monica and her team for weeks, pour over maps in the area. They work closely with law enforcement and strategically plan out the area where the person was last known to be seen. Orchestration of horses, specially trained cadaver dog teams along with trained volunteers cover to eliminate miles of ground during each search and rescue. Food and water is donated to feed the workers. Hotel and travel arrangements are made. All prior to arrival. Family members of the missing loved one are not allowed to participate. Instead, they are provided a loving and caring setting by the Cue Center and wait nearby hoping for news that their loved one was found.
Monica Caison and the Staff at the Cue Center is made up of all volunteers. No one draws a paycheck, including its' founder, Monica. During the past several months I have come to know the many of the families registered with agency. The work they accomplish for each individual family of the missing is incredible.
Monica Caison and the Cue Center shows us all that with shear passion and determination for families and their missing loved ones, she is not only their hope, but in my opinion, the brightest star in the universe!
National Conference for Missing Persons : CUE Center for Missing Personswww.ncmissingpersons.org
Join us for our upcoming national conference for missing persons and all who work in the arena from advocating, volunteerism, investigation, search and rescue and identification process of those who are lost.