Mom's disappearance inspires daughter's mission to help the missing

Published: Apr. 5, 2019 at 3:58 PM CDT
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There are 202 adults and children who have been reported missing in Wisconsin. One of the missing is Brown County resident Victoria Prokopovitz.

Victoria was last seen at 10 p.m. on April 25, 2013, at her home at 5118 Kunish Road in the Town of Pittsfield. She was 60 at the time of her disappearance. Victoria went missing without a purse, ID, money, and cell phone. Target 2 Investigates

Still there have been no answers.

Each April, Victoria's daughter, Marsha Loritz, coordinates a missing persons awareness event. The goal is to honor Victoria and to recognize and offer support to the missing and their families.

Marsha knows the names and the stories behind each of Wisconsin's 202 missing persons.

"Each person is as important to me as my mom, so every time a family gets an answer, it's just as if I got an answer," Loritz says. "I do this for my mom because of my mom."

That mission continues this Saturday (April 6) with the 5th Annual Missing Persons Awareness Event. The event is being held at the Brown County Sheriff's Office, 2684 Development Drive. Hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Events include child ID kits, internet safety lessons, McGruff the Crime Dog, K-9 greeters, guest speakers, search and rescue teams, raffles and silent auctions.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul will attend the event.

The 2019 event marks the first time Green Bay, Brown County and state leaders have all issued proclamations declaring April Missing Persons Awareness Month.

When Victoria Prokopovitz disappeared in 2013, Marsha Loritz entered a constant state of wondering and worry. Few people could help or understand what she was going through. That feeling inspired Marsha to form a non-profit and start the annual Missing Persons Awareness Event.

"It's a lot of emotion. The closer we get to the event, the more I can put myself in the place of being a family member being there and not just the person putting on the event," Loritz says.

She wants no family or missing person to feel forgotten. She says bringing people together offers healing.

"To be surrounded by other people that actually understand the pain of everyday living with no answers, it's so amazing to feel that support and just feel understood," Loritz says. "And that you can support them and they can support you is a huge benefit and it does carry you through those hard days."

When Marsha started her mission, there were 136 missing people from Wisconsin. That number has grown. Now the names of the 202 missing can be seen on billboards in parts of the state.

"When I stopped to see the boards on Monday, I saw two people stop and watch the boards, and I cried because that's exactly what these boards are supposed to do," Marsha says. "It's supposed to raise awareness that these people are still missing."

Marsha's non-profit is Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy, Inc.

There is a $17,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Victoria Prokopovitz.

If you have information:

--Call the Brown County Sheriff’s Investigative Division at (920) 448-4230

--Call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at (920) 432-STOP [7867]