When someone goes missing, there's usually a large effort by law enforcement, family and friends to find him or her.
When someone is murdered without a known suspect, police and relatives try to find out who did it. And when a body is discovered, and no kin claim it, advocates who work on such cases push to link circumstances or DNA to bring them home.
In honor of Labor Day, Patch is recognizing the efforts of all those who work to solve these cases, bring the missing and unidentified home, and provide closure to the families or justice for the victims of unsolved homicides.
Roberta "Bertie" Merline Lawrence, a resident, was last seen on Dec. 31, 2001, as she waited for a bus at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street in Coraopolis. Lawrence's body was recovered on Feb. 14, 2002, from the Ohio River.
Sarah Boehm, 14, disappeared in 1994 and, in June 2003, was identified as a Jane Doe found in Ohio in the same year that she disappeared. Sarah was from Rochester Township.
Melissa Snodgrass of Pittsburgh disappeared on Sept. 7, 2003, after walking to a local convenience store with her mother's dog. A victim of a homicide, Snodgrass was found dead in the basement of a house only blocks from her home. The remains of the dog were found with her.
Parker Kelley was a trucker who disappeared from Donegal Borough on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004, following a minor accident with his truck. Kelley's remains were discovered on Nov. 30, 2004, in a wooded area of Donegal, not far from a restaurant where he had gone for food. There were no signs of foul play, and investigators believe that he may have become disoriented after the accident.
Patricia McDonald of Forward Township was last heard from by cellphone at around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2005. McDonald was on her way home from her workplace. That Dec. 26, her pickup truck was discovered over an embankment along Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough. She was found dead in the vehicle.
Anthony Armand Jackson of Pittsburgh's Homewood area was last seen in the city's East Liberty neighborhood on June 21, 2004. Jackson's skeletal remains were found on Jan. 12, 2005, in a wooded area of Homewood, about a mile from where he was last seen.
Myron Lewis Simon of Plum Borough, a professor at the Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce Campus in Monroeville, was last seen on Dec. 2, 2003. On the third anniversary of Simon's disappearance, his vehicle was found in the Allegheny River, near the Tarentum Bridge. His remains were inside of the car, an apparent suicide.
Melissa Galiyas, 32, of Clairton was last seen on March 26, 2007, at a bus stop at the corner of St. Clair and Miller avenues in Clairton. Galiyas' skeletal remains were found on Dec. 22, 2007, over a hillside in a wooded area along Van Kirk Street, just a couple of blocks from her home. She was the victim of a homicide.
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