Virtual event sheds light on Wisconsin missing person cases

Green Bay woman’s effort to honor her mother led her to start a non-profit that’s dedicated to help families
Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay’s two downtown bridges will light up yellow Saturday night for Missing Persons Awareness Month, which is recognized in Wisconsin.

Most of the credit goes to a local woman’s effort to honor her mother who went missing 8 years ago and whose husband was recently convicted for murder.

“Some of these families are really struggling and especially if this is newer for them. They need guidance in what to do, what database to get their loved ones listed,” Marsha Loritz said.

Loritz’s life is full of purpose as she’s dedicated eight years to finding missing people and built an organization from the ground up called Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, where she’s currently the president.

“The hard part is there’s no one place for people to go to see who’s missing,” Loritz said.

The group’s annual in-person event went virtual this year. On Saturday, dozens of people shared their stories of missing loved ones on Facebook. It’s normally held at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, but was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

“As much as this feels like a lonely place to be, you are not alone. There are other families experiencing this and the one thing you should do is never give up,” Loritz said.

She has her own personal story as her mother Victoria Prokopovitz has been missing since April of 2013.

“I can’t do anything more to help find my mom. I do what I can, but because I’m stuck in this and feel helpless that gives me purpose. I can help other families,” Loritz said.

In February. a Brown County Jury convicted Victoria’s 75-year-old husband James Prokopovitz in her death. Her body has yet to be found and his sentencing is scheduled for April 30.

Loritz said the journey she’s embarked on taught her that missing persons is a global epidemic.

“If you believe a loved one is missing, you should go down and file a report.”

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