Hundreds of open cases prompt Virginia’s first ‘Missing Persons Day’

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — For the families and friends of people who are missing, every day is excruciating not knowing where their loved one might be.

Right now in Virginia, there are more than 600 children and adults reported missing. The General Assembly has declared April 29 “Missing Persons Day.”

Toni Jacobs knows what it’s like. She wants as many people as possible to see her daughter’s picture.

“I’m looking for that one person. Just that one person to see it and be like, ‘Hold on, I saw that girl,'” she said.

Her daughter, 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs, was last seen in Richmond last September. She hasn’t been heard from since.

Jacobs says a day like “Missing Persons Day” means a lot to her and others who are in the same situation.

“It just warms my heart because I know these other kids don’t want to be forgotten,” she said. “I don’t want nobody to know they went missing without anybody noticing.”

While grieving the disappearance of her daughter, Jacobs was hit with another blow. Her son, Deavon Jacobs, was murdered in January.

It’s been a tough last seven months, but Jacobs has faith her daughter will come home.

“I had dreams about that. That I saw her and she walked through the door and I ran to her and cried and held her,” she said. “And then I was like, she’s never leaving home! She’s going to be sleeping in the bed with me until she’s 50.”

Though this year will be the first “Missing Persons Day” in Virginia, the resolution states it is an annual declaration.

The nonprofit Help Save The Next Girl is hosting an event to mark the day. It will be in conjunction with the Roanoke Police Department, National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and other organizations.

The event is at the Roanoke Police Training Academy on April 29 from 12 to 4 p.m. More information is available here.

Help Save The Next Girl was founded by Morgan Harrington’s parents. Harrington, 20, was murdered after attending a concert in Charlottesville in 2009.

To see how many children are missing in the Commonwealth, click here. For information on missing adults, click here. Both sites are updated daily.