Ohio Case Renews Hope For Families In New Jersey [AUDIO]
The case in Ohio, in which three women were found alive on Monday after nearly a decade after they went missing, is giving many families a renewed hope that one day they may find their missing loved one. Unfortunately, cases like these are not the norm.
"The Ohio case really is an anomaly. It's so uncommon to have a crime like that completely undetected, hidden from public view for so many years," said Lieutenant Stephen Jones of the New Jersey State Police.
"Most often what we get are cases involving victims of crimes that happened a number of years ago and we have people who have never been identified," said Lt. Jones. "What we're always striving to do is identify unknown victims and unknown bodies. DNA is the way we're doing that these days with amazing success. When we're able to get family members to submit DNA, it often leads to the identification of an unknown body or victim."
Unfortunately, law enforcement officials are not in the business of trying to give families hope.
"The last thing we would ever want to do is give unrealistic hope. While it would likely comfort people to think that there may be a chance that they can find their loved one alive, it can also hold people back in not making any kind of progress when that may not be the end their loved one came to," said Jones. "So, we're providing closure for families and if that means that we're able to provide them with proof positive that we have their loved ones remains and they can go and make funeral arrangements and move forward, then we're more than happy to do it."
It's always a wonderful experience to solve a crime in a positive way, whether that means finding a missing child or reuniting a runaway with his or her family years after the fact.
"These cases are not unheard of, and they happen sometimes. When we're able to solve a case that way, it's certainly much better than having to tell a family that we have a body," said Jones.