NJ event aims to help identify and locate missing people
Between 14,000 and 16,000 people are reported missing in New Jersey every year. And every year, about 99% of these individuals are recovered.
But that pleasant statistic doesn't do much for the loved ones of the 1,000-plus missing persons whose cases have gone unsolved, dating as far back as 1969.
Offering a one-stop resource center for families and friends of the missing, the New Jersey State Police will be hosting their 3rd annual Missing in New Jersey event on Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice.
"It's an event that's designed for the family to come and understand that they're not alone in this, as well as provide information that will lead to the recovery of their missing loved one," said Detective Sgt. 1st Class Joel Trella.
Families who attend can provide biometric data, such as fingerprints, dental records or body X-rays, which would be used to help link them to solve missing persons cases and unidentified human remains.
There are more than 300 investigations of unidentified human remains; they may make up a portion of the more than 1,000 unsolved missing persons cases statewide.
Through the first event in 2017, DNA samples offered by a woman in attendance helped identify her brother who had unfortunately passed seven years prior in Florida, Trella said. Last year, the event helped reunite a woman who hadn't seen her brother in five years.
"We want people to understand that this event is for them and we don't use any of the information for other crimes," Trella said. "So if they do submit DNA, it only looks for mising people."
The event, which is free to attend and requires no ID at the door, will feature a candlelight celebration at 4 p.m.
Trella added that individuals who are unsure about their own origins or background can submit DNA that could be linked to an unidentified child abduction case.
New Jersey's oldest missing persons cases
William Jones Jr.
Date of Last Contact: Dec. 17, 1962
Date of Birth: March 5, 1959
Height: 3 feet
Weight: 30 pounds
William Ebenezer Jones Jr. was last seen on Dec. 17, 1962, in his backyard in Vineland. He has a giraffe-shaped vaccination scar on his left arm. He was last seen wearing a blue snowsuit with large silver buttons and tan high-top tennis shoes. Contact Vineland Police Department at 856-696-1212
Charlotte J. Loomis
Date of Last Contact: Sept. 1, 1972
Date of Birth: 03/24/1958
Height: 5 feet 2 inches
Weight: 115 pounds
Charlotte J. Loomis was last seen on Sept. 1, 1972, at her sister's residence, which was stationed on Fort Monmouth in Eatontown. She was believed to have left Eatontown and traveled from Newark International Airport to Midland Bay City Saginaw International Airport in Saginaw, Michigan. Charlotte never arrived in Michigan. She has a scar on her forehead and previously broke an arm. Contact Eatontown Police Department at 732-542-0100
Nicholas Peter Zizzamia
Date of Last Contact: May 12, 1979
Date of Birth: 10/30/1956
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Weight: 290 pounds
Nicholas Peter Zizzamia left his parents’ house in Cherry Hill on May 12, 1979, to attend a Villanova University graduation ceremony. He never showed up at the university. The vehicle Nicholas was driving was found parked and locked behind a business in Cherry Hill. Contact Cherry Hill Township Police Department at 856-488-7828
William J. Jamison
Date of Last Contact: March 27, 1981
Date of Birth: 04/29/1947
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: 220 pounds
William Joseph Jamison was last seen on March 27, 1981, in Linden. William was driving a 1981 Ford LTD Station Wagon with New Jersey plates 861-PKY. He has a scar on his chin and a scar on his right ear.
James W. Hires
Date of Last Contact: Oct. 17, 1981
Date of Birth: 04/29/1963
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Weight: 150 pounds
James William Hires was last seen on Oct. 12, 1981, when he left his parents’ Cherry Hill home about 2:30 p.m. James had said that he was going to pick up his brother. The vehicle James was driving was found on Oct. 18, 1981, at the Philadelphia Airport. He was last seen wearing a brown jacket, tan V-neck sweater, white pants and dress shoes. He has a scar on his left eye. Contact Cherry Hill Township Police Department at 856-488-7828
Mario F. Saavedra
Date of Last Contact: April 11, 1986
Date of Birth: 09/08/1965
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Weight: 155 pounds
Mario F. Saavedra was last seen on April 11, 1986, in Jersey City. He was a college student at Jersey City State College when he was last seen going to a study group. He had told his family that he had been staying at a friend's house. His vehicle was found abandoned in front of a pizza parlor in the neighborhood. Contact Jersey City Police Department at 201-547-5494
Date of Last Contact: Sept. 14, 1986
Date of Birth: 09/17/1984
Height: 2 feet 6 inches
Weight: 30 pounds
Bonita Sanders was last seen on Sept. 14, 1986, sitting in a stroller on her front porch in Atlantic City. Contact Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office at 609-909-7800
Charles G. Teets
Date of Last Contact: Feb. 1, 1987
Date of Birth: 05/03/1949
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 200 pounds
Charles G. Teets was last seen on Feb. 1, 1987, in Mount Laurel. He has a scar on his right hand. He also had a full beard. Contact Mount Laurel Township Police Department at 856-234-1414
Diane Melissa McGuinn
Date of Last Contact: March 6, 1988
Date of Birth: 08/03/1987
Height: 2 feet 4 inches
Weight: 16 pounds
Dianne Melissa McGuinn was last seen in Trenton on March 6, 1988. She was last seen with a woman who was living with her parents. She was last seen wearing white flowered overalls, a dark pink hooded sweater, and pink socks. Contact NJSP Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-8000 x2554.
Date of Last Contact: Nov. 18, 1989
Date of Birth: 10/06/1987
Height: 2 feet
Weight: 25 pounds
Curtis McCoy, 2, was kidnapped on Nov. 18, 1989, as he walked a few steps behind his father in Newark during a shopping trip with his father’s girlfriend and his two half sisters. As the group approached an intersection, Curtis's father reached for his son's hand to cross the street, but Curtis was gone.
The toddler was visiting his father and lived with his mother in South Carolina. Contact Newark Police Department at 973-733-6000
More from 94.3ThePoint: