Two hands, together, palms up, with a yellow flower placed between them

Opening the second missing persons report for my mother

Some things are easier the second time around. Opening a missing persons report turned out to be one of those things for me. Not easy, but easier.

Opening the first missing persons report was so traumatic. The officer at the desk was so dismissive, like I didn’t really know my mother was missing. He gave me a hard time to the point the officers around him were chuckling.

I made it clear that she was ill. She was not off with her friends because she is too ill to have friends. She was ill, in her 70s. She left her SRO without saying a word to me when I was the only person in the world she trusted. He finally opened up the case.

So, I spent the first few weeks of the current incident doing the search myself. I called the coroner’s offices, hospitals, jails. No news. I went on to request medical records to see if she was moved to long-term care. After more than 30 years of her being ill, she finally gave me a partial power of attorney two years ago when she was hospitalized.

I open the new report yesterday because I would be contacted if there was any contact between her and law enforcement. That’s the only thing that was worthwhile about opening the first case. I was contacted when they found her in a park while they were doing special outreach when the weather was exceptionally cold. Being reconnected is huge.

I got a call back from the detective today which I missed. When I called back, the officer who answered said they were already following up on the places I gave them as places she frequented. I am astonished. I am really not used to the police caring about a missing homeless woman.

Do I dare hope? I am so used to doing all this on my own. I am so accustomed to no one seeing her, no one seeing me. I have spent half my life exhausted, full anxiety, dogged depression. My tears tell me maybe there’s hope. That some one sees this, that it’s not okay, that something should be done about it.

In an email, I sent my mother’s photos, my power of attorney, my spreadsheet of what I’ve done so far, and my hope that maybe this detective can take on some of this work.


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