107 and Counting: Finding the Missing

A recent publication by crime writer David Lohr reveals a lesson that can be used to inspire us all:

(JAN. 15, 2009): Texas EquuSearch made its 107th find Thursday morning when the body of a missing postal worker was recovered in Cleveland, less than a week after it recovered the body of Becky Hamilton, a 52-year-old woman who had been missing from Huffman, Texas.

The group has been involved in more than 1,000 searches, most notably the Natalie Holloway and Caylee Anthony cases…

In the most recent Ohio case, 49-year-old postal worker Robert Lathan Jr. went missing early Jan. 7 after he was involved in a single-car accident on Martin Luther King Boulevard near Doan Creek on the city's East Side.

Police found Lathan's brother, Christopher Lathan, alone in the car. He didn't say anything about Robert initially, according to reports.

Police say it was not until later that night that they discovered Robert had also been inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. Christopher subsequently claimed that he and his brother had been drinking before the wreck and that Robert was driving.

Authorities confirmed that no one had seen Robert since the accident. They conducted several searches of the area without locating him…

Family members became frustrated with the search efforts. On Monday, they decided to reach out to Tim Miller's group to see if he could assist the effort.

"I spoke with the lead investigator, and he said, 'We don't have any money to reimburse you. The city is broke, but if there is any way you could help, we would greatly appreciate it,'" Miller said in an interview with Sphere.com.

"I told him, 'I'm on the next flight out.' I met with law enforcement yesterday morning and then began searching Doan Creek."

Miller said that snow and thick ice made it especially difficult for his team to conduct the search. They painstakingly used sledgehammers and axes to break through the ice to the surface of the water.

"The ice was a lot thicker than we had anticipated, so we broke ice all day Wednesday," Miller said. "

On Thursday, temperatures in Cleveland climbed to 40 degrees, melting some of the snow and ice that had been hindering the search. Texas EquuSearch team member Jeff Kruger said the group was in the water for less than five minutes when they found Robert's body.

"I saw what appeared to be a leg sticking up," Kruger said. "Tim told me to break back the ice some more so we could get a closer look, and there he was."…

As stated in the article, when members of Lathan’s family contacted Miller and requested help, he did not evaluate the opportunity in terms of profitability.

He was not dismayed when authorities, in a city that just implemented a layoff of 67 police officers, told him there was no money to even provide travel reimbursements for his team.

He simply made the trip, met with officials, and began searching.

Whatever cause or non-profit that one champions, we should all be as passionate about it as Miller.

If so, the resulting accomplishments would make the world an unrecognizably improved place.


Note: Equusearch is a nonprofit that searches for missing persons, and was founded by Texas resident Tim Miller. In 1984, Miller’s teenage daughter, Laura, was abducted and murdered.

Donation information for Equusearch can be found here.

The photo was used from their site as well.


My Husband's Watching TV... said...

So how did he end up in the creek???

MONICA-LnP said...

yes this is a great inspiration and a Thank you to Tim Miller for starting this group and helping those even when they cant pay.

Amy Elizabeth said...

The world needs more people like that! Kudos to Tim and his team

Luisa Doraz said...

We have so many talented people in this world. If we all just did our part....and a little more.....we would all be in a different place. Thanks for sharing this great story.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
You find the most amazing things. It is an inspiration. I went all over his site and was very impressed.

Dear Husband's Watching,
I'm betting he was concussed or otherwise dazed/confused and tried to walk away on unsteady legs.

But mostly, his family has some closure. This is no small thing.

Ann T.

Dear Slam,
Don't forget you won an award for Best BLog! Your banner is over my site ready to be duplicated. . . somewhere below betty boop or in the footer of my blog.
Congrats and best wishes!

Dan said...

It is good that there are people and groups that can continue to function in the face of budgetary constraints.

J. J. in Phila said...

Both impressive what they do, and inspirational, that they will do it without charge.

Congratulations on winning Best Blog award. :)

Slamdunk said...

@ My Husband...: Once that body was located, I am sure investigators are working dilligently to answer that question. The scene and autopsy may provide some clues to either support or refute the brother's story or another version--something like Ann T. describes.

Rhiannon Banda-Scott said...

I heard you love crime stories/cases and I have a blog that is all about this kind of thing! Holly directed me your way! Here is the blog: www.rbandascott.blogspot.com. The blog under this address I am commenting under is a little more frilly and girly :) Have a Happy Tuesday!

Holly said...

That is am amazing man and am=n amazing group. It is always nice to knwo there are people like that in this crazy world.