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Friday, September 19, 2014, 10:57 a.m.
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Event aims to help families find missing loved ones

By Ashley Nerbovig

This article was published May 29, 2014 at 5:31 p.m.

Never forgotten - Arkansas takes action

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel hosted the third annual "Never Forgotten — Arkansas Takes Action," an event aimed at bringing awareness to the many active missing person cases in Arkansas. The crowd heard from Jennifer Schuett, from Dickinson, Texas, who in 1990 at age 8 was kidnapped and brutally assaulted.
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Jennifer Schuett was 8 years old when in 1990 she was abducted from her bedroom in Dickinson, Texas.

Nearly 24 years later, Schuett shared the story of her attack and recovery Thursday at the state's third annual "Never Forgotten — Arkansas Takes Action" event, which aims to help families locate missing persons through DNA sampling.

She urged the crowd to continue to look for those who have disappeared.

"Your work does not go unnoticed and it is appreciated," Schuett said. "And I would like to personally thank all of you for the work that you have done and continue to do for those who have been affected by crime and for making the world a better place to live in."

Betty Gill of Tyronza, Ark., lost her 15-year-old daughter when the girl's vehicle skidded off a highway and into a pond in Tyronza.

"They called in divers, and then they found her," Gill said. "I'm so grateful for that, because I know where my child's at, a lot of these people don't know where their child's at. That's what's so hard. It's not knowing."

Audrey Waldo of Wynne, whose 21-year-old grandson Lucas Prassas disappeared 6 months ago after leaving his apartment off Highway 1 in Wynne, came to the event after she was invited by someone on an online support group for parents whose children have disappeared.

"You don't know what pain is until something like this happens," Waldo said. "Then you find out what it's like to have the world end."

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who hosts the event along with other law enforcement representatives, opened with remarks commending the families who attended this year.

"During last year's event we were able to locate a couple of people, two, just using [Arkansas Crime Information Center] records on the spot," McDaniel said. "We are proud to say that we have assisted clearing more than 80 cases since we began this effort."

Colleen Nick, whose daughter Morgan disappeared nearly 19 years ago, gave out this year's Morgan's Choice Award, which honors people who have done a heroic act for children.

This year the award went to officers who in October helped rescue kids from a hijacked school bus in Jacksonville. The award also went to Sheila Hart, the bus driver who continued to drive the hijacked bus, calming the children and even the hijacker as she drove.

There are approximately 400 active missing persons cases in Arkansas.

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