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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Okemos woman joins in 'Missing in Michigan' event

Okemos woman joins in 'Missing in Michigan' event

Paige Renkoski has been missing for more than two decades, and her mother, Ardis, hasn't given up the search.

The Okemos woman's steadfastness has made her one of the most active and vocal advocates for crime victims' rights and missing persons in Michigan.

Ardis Renkoski will join the Michigan State Police on Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit for "Missing in Michigan," an event designed to give family members of missing persons a chance to meet with investigators, possibly revive their loved ones' lagging cases and offer information for a new database.

Called NamUs, the database stands for National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. It was created through the National Institute of Justice and the National Forensic Science Technology Center in 2009 to provide a central database through which investigators dealing with unidentified remains and missing persons cases can search for possible DNA or case matches. 

The idea is to help investigators hopefully close cases that previously were considered unsolvable, said state police Trooper Sarah Krebs, one of the organizers of Saturday's event.

"I've had so many families say they've never been able to move or change their phone number, because what if their loved one comes back," Krebs told the Lansing State Journal.

Ardis Renkoski's efforts to find Paige have met with many setbacks, but she's never stopped looking.

The case recently was reopened by three cold-case detectives working for the Livingston County sheriff's department who have now identified six possible suspects.

Renkoski was one of the first parents of missing children to contribute her DNA three years ago, in case authorities found her remains but had no other means to identify her, the State Journal reported. 

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