'Missing in Arizona Day' puts focus on those missing, their loved ones

Annual Missing in AZ Day' set for October 21
Posted at 4:58 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-22 03:02:35-04

A task force of local law enforcement held the third annual ‘Missing in Arizona Day’ on Saturday.

The Maricopa and Pima County Sheriff’s Offices, along with Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson Police Departments, and the Maricopa Medical Examiner's Office were all part of the event.

“The cases run the full range of outcomes, from homicides to individuals purposely dropping contact with their families," said Sheriff Paul Penzone. "We have 2,000 people Missing in Arizona with an additional 1,500 unidentified remains. The process of locating and identifying depends greatly on events like Missing in Arizona."

The public was welcome to attend the event and report a missing loved one. They were offered a private meeting with an investigator and support staff to help them.

Nearly 50 families registered for the event but 200 people attended. According to a Phoenix police spokesperson, 50 new missing person reports were filed.

"It's emotionally challenging for someone to speak about a loved one who appears to have just vanished," said Sheriff Penzone. "Missing in Arizona Day makes the process as simple as possible while providing the counseling needed."

Anyone who wishes to file a report is urged to contact their local agency.