More than 600,000 men, women and children are reported missing in the United States each year.
Please take a few moments to read the stories of this week's missing people. If you recognize one of them, help end a family’s uncertainty by contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Typically someone, somewhere knows or sees something that could help law enforcement recover a missing person. And whether you realize it or not, that someone could be you.
Authorities in South Boardman, Mich., are seeking the public's help in locating 45-year-old Michael Bayne. According to Project Jason, Bayne was last seen at his home on Aug. 26. His whereabouts and reason for his disappearance are unknown. His glasses, watch and wallet were all found inside his home. Family members told police it would be out of character for him to take off. Bayne is described as 6 feet 1 inches tall, 190 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes and noticeable freckles. He was last seen wearing a green flannel shirt, jeans or sweatpants and black tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kalkaska County Sheriff's Department at (231) 258-3350.
Deserae "Des" Bedsworth
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reports that Missouri police are trying to locate Deserae Bedsworth. The 17-year-old from Warrenton was last seen on Sept. 18, her birthday. No further details on her disappearance are available at this time. She is described as 110 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches tall. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. Her ears are pierced. Anyone with information on Bedsworth's whereabouts is asked to contact NCMEC at (800) 843-5678.
Taji Rakwaan Blackston
Taji Blackston, 17, of Virginia Beach, VA, was last seen on Sept. 21. Authorities have only said he is considered a runaway. No further details are available at this time. Blackston is described as African-American, 165 pounds and 5 feet 11 inches tall. He has black hair and brown eyes. His hair is styled as a flat top and he has a goatee. Authorities also said the teen has tattoos, but no description of them has been provided. Anyone with information is asked to contact Virginia State Police at (804) 674-2000.
Thirty-eight-year-old Kristine Bruce was last seen in Kissimmee, Fla., on Sept. 6. According to police, Bruce, who is a certified public accountant for Disney Cruise Lines, apparently wandered away from her home. Investigators said the woman recently underwent surgery and was being treated for depression. Her purse, identification and cell phone were all found inside her home. Bruce is described as 210 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches tall, with medium-length brown hair and brown eyes. She has several tattoos, including a large gothic rabbit on her right shoulder and arm. Anyone with information is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office Crimeline at (800) 423-8477.
Alexa Brianna Ikard
Eighteen-year-old Alexa Ikard, of Lincolnton, N.C., has not been seen since 10:30 a.m. Thursday, near East Highway 27 in Lincolnton. According to police, Ikard suffers from autism and may be lost and in a neighboring county. She is described as being 4 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray shirt with a pink flower, black leggings, and earrings. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at (704) 732-9050.
Authorities in California are investigating the disappearance of 79-year-old Mehria Mansury. According to the San Diego Police Department, Mansury was last seen at about 8 a.m. Tuesday at her home in the 2800 block of Amulet Street. Authorities said Mansury's family members are concerned about her whereabouts and suspect foul play in her disappearance. She is described as Middle Eastern, 140 pounds and 5 feet 1 inch tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (619) 531-2293.
Shauntay Mayfield, 17, of Brooklyn, NY, has been missing since Thursday. She was last seen on East 102nd Street. No further details on her disappearance have been released. Mayfield is described as African-American, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 225 lbs. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the NYPD Missing Persons Squad at (212) 694-7781.
Anarae Kristine Schunk
Police in Burnsville, Minn., are asking for the public's help locating Anarae Schunk, a missing University of Minnesota student. Schunk, 20, was last seen in the company of 31-year-old Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson. According to Burnsville police, Nelson was charged Thursday with second-degree murder in the Sept. 22 shooting death of Palagor Jobi. Schunk was with Chavez-Nelson the night of the shooting and has not been seen since. Police have named Chavez-Nelson a "person of interest" in Schunk's disappearance. Schunk has green eyes, is approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 165. She was last seen wearing a white, zip-up jacket with a University of Minnesota logo on the chest. She had a camouflage backpack with her. Authorities said Schunk is not a suspect in the homicide investigation. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Burnsville Police Department at 952-895-4636. A Facebook page has also been set up to help find her.
Sept. 17 was the last time family members saw 20-year-old Joseph Swett, of Los Angeles, Calif. According to North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch, Swett, who has autism, was last seen in the 8600 block of Sunland Boulevard. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black sleeveless T-shirt, black pants, and white shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (213) 996-1800.
Gerald Paul VanDyke
Authorities in LeBoeuf Township, PA., are trying to locate 55-year-old Gerald VanDyke. The Erie Times-News reports he was last seen on the morning of Sept. 14, when he left his Smith Road residence in his silver 2003 Dodge Dakota crew cab pickup truck with license plate YKW 4528. Rockdale Township resident Richard Houy, 68, has allegedly admitted to killing VanDyke and dumping his body in French Creek, police said. Houy has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal use of a communication facility, tampering with or fabricating evidence and false reports to law enforcement. He is being held in the Crawford County jail without bond. According to The Meadville Tribune, the victim and Houy's daughter were in the process of ending a long-term relationship. Multiple searches have been conducted for VanDyke, but he has not yet been located. Anyone with information is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police at (814) 898-1641.
COLD CASE OF THE WEEK:
Jason Anthony Jolkowski
Jason Jolkowski, 19, of Omaha, Neb., has been missing since June 13, 2001. According to family members, Jolkowski, an employee at a restaurant in Omaha, received a call from his boss that morning and was asked to come in early. The teen's car was in the shop so he arranged to meet a coworker at Benson High School, only seven blocks from his home. It's believed that Jolkowski got dressed in his work uniform and then set off for the school. Somewhere along the way he vanished without a trace. Following Jolkowski's disappearance, his mother, Kelly Murphy, founded Project Jason, a nonprofit organization that works to increase public awareness of missing person cases. The organization's Web site can be found at www.projectjason.org. Anyone with information about this case should contact the Omaha Police Department at 402-444-5818.
Each and every missing person, regardless of age, race, gender and circumstance, deserves to be found. Please join us in our campaign to raise awareness by sharing the link to this story on your social media accounts.