You can access any of my previous missing persons posts, by clinking on this link.
Now, for today's installment of my Missing Person Monday series...
On February 5, 1981, fourteen-year old Dean "Deanie" Marie Peters was with her mother waiting for her little brother's wrestling practice at Forest Hills Central Middle School in Grand Rapids, MI to end.
She told her mom she was going to the restroom.
It was around 5 pm.
Instead of going to the restroom, witnesses told authorities that they saw the girl exit the gymnasium.
Deanie has not been seen since.
Police investigated whether Deanie ran away or was abducted.
They searched, but found nothing.
The case went cold.
In 2008, a grant-funded cold case squad reopened the Peters disappearance, and eventually focused on a man named Bruce Bunch. Bunch lived in Grand Rapids at the time Deanie went missing, and was a high school junior then.
One time, Bunch had allegedly told friends that when he was in Grand Rapids, he had accidentally backed over a girl at school and then dumped her body near the Interstate off of Snow Avenue.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bunch died of a heart attack before he could be interviewed, and authorities were unable to corroborate the Snow Avenue story after searching multiple locations.
Bunch is the only suspect never to be cleared in the Peters' disappearance.
With Bunch's story (if only a part of it is accurate), it is logical to believe that if a body was transported and buried, that the act involved more than one person.
Fast forward to downtown Grand Rapids at the C.O.D.A. Gallery last Thursday (May 3, 2012), where celebrated artist John O'Hearn unveiled a mosaic in honor of Deanie's disappearance.
O'Hearn had been contacted by a group of the missing woman's friends and classmates to assist in the effort to publicize the disappearance--and he had agreed to participate.
The effort's goal is to learn where Ms. Peters' body is buried to provide closure for her family and friends.
The art unveiling event also was to include words of hope from the missing woman's younger brother.
I hope it went well.
My prayers are with those involved in the search for information, and that this sad case can be closed after 30 long years.
Thanks to Sara Huizenga from Peace for the Missing for giving me the idea for this post.
Note: For those interested in learning more about artist John O'Hearn's technique called "Ball Mosaics," the following short video shows his creative process. I found it interesting.
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