Organization Holds Rally at Capitol for Missing Woman
JEFFERSON CITY - Twenty years ago Sunday night, Cheryl Kenney reported for work at a convenience store in Nevada, Mo. and never returned home.
Kenney's family and friends refuse to give up. Missing Missouri, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for missing persons cases, held a rally at the south lawn of the state capitol Sunday to mark the twentieth anniversary of her disappearance. According to officials, around 50 people showed up in Nevada before about a dozen drove to Jefferson City to continue the rally.
Kenney's son, Joshua Darnell, said cases like his mother's are often overlooked by police.
"A lot of promises are made throughout these cases, and a lot of them fall through," Darnell said. "[Law enforcement] lead on such busy lives that they don't have to worry about it. They know at night they get to go home with family and have dinner. They don't have to worry about dealing with missing persons."
The city of Nevada planned to hold "Cheryl Kenney Day" Sunday, but the mayor did not show up to the rally. Darnell said he was disappointed, but not surprised.
"It was kind of depressing to find out we'd have to wait another year for the proclamation of 'Cheryl Kenney Day'," Darnell said. "It should have been done for 20 years."
Missing Missouri honored several other missing persons besides Kenney. Marianne Asher-Chapman, who co-founded the organization in 2007, said the group gatherings help loved ones cope with missing persons cases.
"We always have hope," Asher-Chapman said. "We just have to stay productive, to keep working and never let people forget our missing children, parents and loved ones."
Kenney agreed that the presence of the Missing Missouri group helped him emotionally. He attended the rally with his wife.
"I feel great about coming here and joining everyone because I know they've gone a lot of the same stuff I went through," Darnell said.