Annual event brings a voice to the missing

Many family members never give up hope to find their missing loved one
Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 9:03 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - 248.

That’s the number of people currently listed as missing in our state on public databases, according to the Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc.

In reality... that number is a lot higher and changes by the day.

“There is families here who span from 1971 to 2022 with missing loved ones,” Founder of Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc. Marsha Loritz said.

Ten years after the disappearance of her mother Victoria Prokopovitz, she continues to advocate for the missing and their families.

“Our stories are different yet the same and the fact that I understand what they’re going through and they understand what I’m going through... we have a bond that is kind of unique,” Lortiz explained. “It’s important to be here to support them and to be a community for them, letting them know that their loved one has not been forgotten.”

Her non-profit hosted its annual missing persons event at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office Saturday. The event featured speakers like Attorney General Josh Kaul and Special Agent Jay Yerges, tables of resources and search and rescue demonstrations.

Connie Gillis attended in honor of her dad, David Dodge, four decades after he went missing from Frederic, Wisconsin.

“When my father went missing and I had a little child I didn’t know what to do and you didn’t get the help or support at that time,” Gillis explained.

She said now, groups like Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy give a voice to the missing and help people heal.

“It was 30 years before I found this group because in that time there was no technology. It was way different,” Gillis said. “They’re different stories but everybody feels the same way.”

Organizers emphasized the importance of taking a second to share missing persons reports on social media.

“It can get to the person, maybe, that holds information just simply by clicking share. Maybe they don’t know anything but maybe someone else does,” Loritz said.

If you or someone you know is missing someone, The Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc. has free resources available.