Two Weeks or 26 Years: The Pain is Real

I usually limit my missing persons posts to one per week, but I have two this time...
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Blogger Sister Copinherhair has been keeping me informed on the latest in a 1985 missing child case from the Pittsburgh, PA area--that of Cherrie Mahan.

Sister Copinherhair remembers this sad and frightening story being on the news every night when she was a child. 


On February 22, 1985, at around 4 pm, then eight-year-old Cherrie exited a school bus near her home, and has been missing since.

A blue or green Dodge van with a distinctive skier mural was seen in the area, but unfortunately has been a lead that never materialized.

Last week, detectives were investigating promising tips on this decade old case, but it ended in disappointment:

PITTSBURGH -- Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle just spoke with authorities in Michigan who said they have looked into claims from a tipster there that Cherrie Mahan was alive, well and living in rural Michigan...

A spokesman for the sheriff’s department in Michigan told Earle that the woman in questions is not Mahan.

The spokesman said his investigators interviewed the woman and saw a copy of her birth certificate. He said they also went to the local high school where she graduated from and saw pictures of her from as early as Kindergarten...

State police here in Pennsylvania had been investigating the claims after several people came forward and said they spotted a van similar to the one used in the Mahan abduction, and a girl matching Cherrie’s description at a track meet in Michigan 26 years ago...

Paralleling this emotion, the pain of a missing daughter was exemplified in this touching scene from Friday's daily press conference on the search for missing college student Lauren Spierer:

...Her father, Robert Spierer, became emotional as he reminded reporters that Sunday would be Father's Day.

"I would ask any of the children out there to ... let your parents ..." he managed before emotion kept him from going on.

His wife, Charlene Spierer, stepped in to finish for him.

"I'd like to say that Sunday is Father's Day and the greatest gift Robbie could have is getting information about Lauren," she said...

Whether it is two weeks or 26 years of disappointment and not knowing, the pain continues for the families of Cherrie and Lauren--as each holds onto hope to be reunited with their loved one. 

Hoping and praying for a miracle.

14 comments:

Holly said...

I cannot even begin to imagine the loss and pain of a missing child no matter what the time frame, it is like a piece of my heart would be missing.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child and I pray I don't ever have to. My heart goes out to these families.

ooglebloops said...

Missing since 1985- I wonder how many other families are waiting to hear from children missing so long. What desperate and sad situations. Thank you for keeping some of these stories alive.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Ths Mahan story was all over Philly back then, too.
Noleads...seemed to go cold too fast.
Sad to say, it's WAY too rare whenever a lead DOES turn out to be good after thqat many years.

As for the Spierer case?
I' sure hoping it has a good endinmg, but after so many days, you can't help but feel it slipping slowly away.
If it were my daughter (or even son), I have no idea of the myriad of emotions I'd be bouncing between...it would be devastating.

We can but keep hoping and be vigilant.

Good post (and comments)

Sty safe.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I cannot begin to imagine the horrific pain of losing a child and not being able to know that the child was safely in Heaven. Breaks my heart!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I can't even imagine how painful it would be never to know what happened to your child, to never have closure.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

So sad, to never know. Those poor families. My heart goes out to them.

Kristin said...

Truly heartbreaking. I can't even begin to imagine that pain!

Brian Miller said...

and without knowing a final disposition they either hold out hope or give it up and who can give up on their kids...

Lydia K said...

That is so sad. All those years and no answers.

Selma said...

This is a heartbreaking story. The ache of losing a child like that - it must be unbearable. I am so sad for the parents.

secret agent woman said...

This has been my nightmare since I had children. I can't even imagine the horror.

Maxi said...

Missing children are among the most reported cases — hundreds go missing every day.

They are the most vulnerable.

CL Beck, author said...

Cute little girl. It's hard for parents to go all that time with no word.