Loved ones of missing people come together

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Each day 2,300 people go missing in the United States and many of those people are never found.

On Saturday, a message of hope for those still searching at Fox Valley Technical College for the 4th Annual Missing Persons Awareness Event.

"You never give up, you never give up on your children," said Patty Wetterling, speaker at the event.

April is Missing Persons Month in Wisconsin and one organization brought families together to hear from Wetterling. She is the mother of missing child, Jacob Wetterling.

On October 22, 1989 her 11-year-old son was kidnapped riding home on his bike in St. Joseph Minnesota and never seen again. It wasn't until September 1st, 2016 when his body was found. But, only after his killer admitted to the crime, leading police to his remains.

To his mom, this devastating discovery brought closure to decades of agony.

"It is one of hope. I believe there is more good people in the world than bad. When good people pull together, amazing things happen and that's what is happening here," said Wetterling.

Through the Jacob Wetterling Research Center, Patty says change is happening for the better when it comes to missing persons cases.

"We have worked really hard on the prevention end, too. No family should ever have to go through what these families are going through. We have to change the culture and do what we can to prevent this from happening," said Wetterling.

To make this event possible, several groups partnered with Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy Inc., an organization started by a woman who knows what it is like to have a missing loved one.

"My mom went missing five years ago. We don't have anymore answers today, than the day she went missing," said Marsha Loritz with Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc.

Loritz said she has many goals for the new organization, which supports the families of the missing, but one stands out from the rest.

"One family gets an answer. That would be worth every bit of worth, that one person gets an answer," said Loritz.