Mid-Missouri groups remember missing persons and murdered family members
JEFFERSON CITY - The Central Missouri chapter of Parents of Murdered Children and Missouri Missing hosted a memorial picnic Saturday to kick-off National Day of Remembrance.
The National Day of Remembrance is Sept. 25 and, "is a day to honor and memorialize the lives of our loved ones taken by murder," Nancy Whitmarsh, Chapter Leader of Parents of Murdered Children, said.
Whitmarsh said she founded the Central Missouri chapter because the closest ones were in St. Louis and Kansas City. After her husband was murdered in Columbia, she traveled to Kansas City's chapter for support.
"As time went on, I just tried to put that all behind me," Whitmarsh said, "There really wasn't anything here in the central Missouri area for someone who has lost a loved one or a friend by violence, so we decided to start the local chapter here."
Whitmarsh said the group helps families and loved ones by, "personal growth, you never forget all the things that happened to you in the past, they are going to be with you forever, you just learn to deal with them better."
Missouri Missing is a support group and organization that started in Aug. 2007 by two parents of missing children.
Jasmin Siasbncomo attended the picnic in remembrance of her uncle who was murdered.
Roxanne Nickolas, the mother of a murdered child, carried around her sons pictures at the picnic.
"I really think Angie would be so proud because when Angie went missing there was not a soul I could turn to, nobody," said Marianne Asher-Chapman, Angie's mother, co-founder of Missouri Missing.
Now, Asher-Chapman said she works with families of missing children every day.
"I make fliers everyday for them, we are just here to help the families at any given time," Asher-Chapman said.
"I miss everything about Angie," Asher-Chapman said. "Next month is 14 years she's gone and I still literally take a shovel and dig holes and look for her on her old property I do it all the time, I've done it all these years."
The families and parents released doves after the picnic to remember their loved ones.
"I just need to find her remains," Asher-Chapman said. "It's up to me to keep looking for her, just got to bring her home."