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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Relatives of missing people share heartache, hopes at Ford Field

Relatives of missing people share heartache, hopes at Ford Field

Nawal Ahmed's mother went missing in 1986.

"We woke up one day, and she was not there," said the Shelby Township resident, who was 10 when her mother vanished.

On Saturday, Ahmed and her brother came to Ford Field for Michigan's Missing Persons Day -- an event hosted by law enforcement agencies and intended to help raise awareness.

The pair, like many others, gave DNA samples to law enforcement in the hope that a match could turn up. Ahmed, who does not believe her mother, Satnam Kaur, is alive, said perhaps the DNA will match to unidentified remains.

The event gave law enforcement officers a chance to update their databases with information such as online profiles of missing people, dental records or DNA from relatives.

In January, there were more than 3,000 missing people across Michigan, based on reports to the National Crime Information Center, said Michigan State Police Trooper Sarah Krebs.

Betty Henagan of Hartford said her son was 35 years old when he disappeared in August 2008 near Newberry in the Upper Peninsula.

She said her son, Derrick Ray Henagan, had moved Up North to live with a woman he met on the Internet. He was planning a trip home when he vanished, Betty Henagan said. She said her son's girlfriend said the two were supposed to have met at a deer-hunting blind in woods near their home, but he never showed up.

Betty Henagan fears her son is dead, but she hasn't given up.

"This mother is not going to stop until I have my son back," she said.

Relatives of three missing brothers from Morenci also attended the event Saturday.

Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, 9, 7 and 5 years old, respectively, disappeared in late November when they were in the custody of their father, John Skelton. He has been charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment in connection with their disappearance.

Saturday their mother, Tanya Skelton, wore a new T-shirt for her boys.

It was fluorescent yellow, with a heartfelt message on the back: "Thoughts and prayers are what make miracles happen."

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