By Lloyd Jones
CONWAY — A Granite State organization — LostNMissing Inc. — is doing its part to assist in the search for missing local teen Abigail Hernandez and has gone nationwide with the effort.
The Londonderry non-profit has created a video named "Video of Hope: Love to Abby Hernandez" and posted it on Youtube. The four-minute video set to Train's "Calling on Angels" shows a collage of pictures of Hernandez along with photographs from the search; a missing person poster; and heartfelt messages of hope from the community.
The lyrics are also powerful:
"I need a sign to let me know you're her
"All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
"I need to know that things are gonna look up
"I won't give up if you don't give up
"When children have to play inside so they don't disappear"
LostNMissing, Inc. is a state and federally recognized 501c(3) Nonprofit charitable organization to assist law enforcement and the families of missing. It does not charge for its services. It was founded in 2008 and is based in Londonderry. Founder and president Cynthia Caron was voted one of the Top 10 Finalists in America from the television show "The View", 2009, America's Top Volunteer award.
"Nobody wants to find a missing loved one more than you – the family," the website states. "We not only work to find your missing loved one, we also do it hand in hand with you. You are never alone in your search. Families of missing loved ones need hope when they are down. Assigned tasks for strength, when they are weak. Clarity, when they are frustrated. Actions when it seems all has come to a standstill. Unity, when they feel they are alone. Guidance, when they are experiencing setbacks. Normalcy, when things are maddening. Plans, when things are confusing. Above all, they need their missing loved ones. We, at LostNMissing, work, with priority, with all our families to do all possible to bring their loved ones home and always with professionalism and the family's needs as first."
Caron said by phone Thursday she believes "she found her calling" in trying to help families unit with missing members. Although she had not directly had a family member go missing, a number of her volunteer employees have and she feels their pain and wants to do all she can to ease it.
"We work very strongly with the media," she said. "Unfortunately after awhile the media will go away. We still have families who have children who have been missing a one or two years or even three or four. We just want to find a way to bring awareness, and the more we can keep that awareness out there hopefully the more leads will follow."
The organization's mission is "helping law enforcement and families of missing loved ones. When a loved one becomes missing, families are extremely distraught. Working along with their law enforcement we will guide families to what needs done to help locate their missing family member. This includes media, marketing, designing missing posters and banners, and assisting the family with needed events as well as contracting for search and rescue, if advised by their local police agency. We are always available to the family and work with professionalism and compassion."
The website provides information on missing people from across the globe.
"Many families are seeking assistance to gain public awareness of their missing family member," the site states. "Unfortunately, the media industry is ever-changing and may only provide coverage for a limited time before they move on to other cases. At LostNMissing Inc., our core cultural value is to continue to bring awareness to the public of those missing and support law enforcement and families in all ways possible with media, internet, and public awareness.
"We utilize all possible avenues, approved by the family, in order to help bring a missing loved one home," the site continues. "We guide and advocate for the family of missing adults by hosting numerous community events and our services provide the tools necessary for family members to obtain assistance, at no charge, to support and guide them in helping to find their lost or missing loved one. A proactive approach will always be provided to assist with the marketing and media awareness of a missing loved one upon proof of a filed and accepted missing person police report."
Caron said the Hernandez case "hits home" with her because it's a fellow Granite Stater.
"Abigail is missing and she's from our state of New Hampshire," she said. "I have a very strong awareness and interest in helping to bring her home."
Caron said the video and use of Youtube are designed to attract a younger audience who may be able to supply help to law enforcement.
"A lot of times the younger generation can relate to videos," she said and explained she's received a lot of contact from residents in the Mount Washington Valley wondering what they can do.
"I've had so many parents contact me directly asking what do they say to their own children," she said. "I would explain to them that you're going to hear and read a lot of information that is not accurate. The best thing to do is go with what is said at the press conferences and by law enforcement.
"This is a very tragic and difficult situation when a whole community is left puzzled," Caron added. "You can outline 10,000 possible scenarios, the vast majority with positive outcomes and then there are some no so positive — it's a very distressing for the family. We want them to know that we're in their corner."
The organization also provides additional services.
"We not only work with families of missing loved ones, but also have a team that specializes with entering missing into NamUs as well as research and help bring identification to unidentified deceased loved ones," the site states. "Through the NamUs website we try to match unidentified earthly bodies with those who are missing to help bring families their needed answers and their loved ones home. We do not discontinue our relationships with our families once a loved one is located, actually quite the opposite. We stay with them and even help to plan their loved one's welcome home celebration or in the case of a passing, their Celebration of Life services. Many former families of missing assist in a LostNMissing Support Member role to be available to other families of missing, as well."