Phoenix detective calls Ohio rescue a 'ray of hope'

In a nondescript central Phoenix office William Andersen sifts through a massive amount of cases looking for a clue to bring people back home.

Outside his second floor office, the Phoenix Police Department detective has dozens of sets of eyes staring back at him.

"I think about it all the time," said Williams while talking about the large amount of missing persons cases he is assigned to.


When asked if he thinks about the cases while lying in bed or even on vacation Andersen answered, "Absolutely, absolutely."

Andersen can't avoid it and it's by design.

The hallway leading to his office is lined from floor to ceiling with missing persons posters.

"They are always there and we are too, we're always working and thinking about these people, they're not just cases," said Andersen.

Andersen used the rescue of the missing girls from Ohio as an opportunity to generate renewed interest in open missing persons cases in Phoenix.

"With so much attention from the press on this great moment for that community and family, we wanted to take advantage," said Andersen. "There could be situations like that here where a missing person may be found or just a simple tip to Silent Witness that could help us and a family."

Andersen is one of five officers assigned to the department's missing and unidentified persons unit.

He said now is the time to remind people they too can help.

"We don't want anybody to ever give up hope," said Andersen.

Each day there is a new missing persons case in Phoenix, yet some continue to stick with Anderson.

"Alissa Turney, a 17-year-old girl, disappeared on the last day of her junior year and that case is very personal to me, I have some issues with that case," said Andersen.

He also discussed the case of Myron Traylor who vanished at the age of 13 in 1988 in south Phoenix. Andersen held up an enhanced photo of what Traylor may look like today.

As more cases continue to hit his desk, Andersen has one key piece of advice for parents.

He said every parent should talk to their children about stranger danger.

"Children will have that instinct to please an adult, you need to break that, you need to tell them to maintain a physical distance from somebody," said Andersen.

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