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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Megan Lancaster -- Lack of Active Participation For the Stigmatized Missing

Imagine the unspeakable agony of having a loved one still missing for over two years (since April 3, 2013). Then, consider all the hundreds of false hopes that have arisen during that time and enduring these continual "ups and downs" of elation and depression. It would be enough for most people to say, "We just have to move on and let the past be."

That is not the case for the family of Megan Lancaster, a local missing woman and mother of a nine year-old son. She was 25 years-old at the time of her disappearance. Her family vows never to stop their phenomenal search for Megan. They have actually opened their arms wide to include concern and help in searches for other missing local people.

Before she went missing, Megan had experienced a life troubled by drugs, addiction, and prostitution. The stigma of that lifestyle is an undeniable hindrance in efforts to find her. Yet, the family has fought public reproach and has conducted a series of Herculean efforts to find Megan -- on-going searches, investigations, public events, walks, and many other active endeavors since Megan was last seen.

Kadie Lancaster, her sister-in-law and best friend said, "It broke my heart to see her go down that road (of addiction) because I knew what she could be. I knew how she could change her life. God bless her, she just couldn't beat it."

Addiction is something Megan had in common with three Ross County women who've disappeared in the last year: Charlotte Trego, Wanda Lemons, and Tiffany Sayre. Kadie wants to help find all of them. She insisted, “They are human beings. They are not disposable."

Finally, giving the investigation a huge boost, the FBI has recently entered a task force now looking for similarities between three missing persons cases in Chillicothe (Charlotte Trego, Wanda Lemons, and Tiffany Sayre), two in Columbus, and those in the Portsmouth area.

The federal investigation is possibly the best news the Lancasters have heard, and they are begging anyone with clues to Megan's disappearance to call the Chillicothe Police or the FBI hotline. Here is the contact from the Chillicothe Police:

The Missing Person joint Task Force now has a phone number and email for anyone that has information regarding our missing persons. The number, (740) 774-FIND (3463), has a voicemail system. If an investigator does not answer, please leave a message and the call will be followed up on. Anyone having information that needs immediate attention should call the PD at 740-773-1191. The email for the taskforce is findme@rosssheriff.com

There is still a reward being offered through Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers for information regarding the missing persons.

 Anonymous tips can be made through Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers by calling (740)773-TIPS or (800)222-TIPS, by texting keyword LOWDOWN to CRIMES (274637) or on their website at www.southernohiocrimestoppers.com.

Late last Thursday afternoon, Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware told the Portsmouth Daily Times after meeting with Ross County authorities, "there is apparently no correlation to any women missing in Scioto County."

Ware said as of this time, the Portsmouth Police Department "is not an active participant in the working group or task force that has been set up by Ross County authorities, but he said in the best interest of the public, the Portsmouth Police Department will continue to communicate with members of the working group to exchange information that may be of importance to their investigations as well as any investigations in which such exchange could result in bringing closure to the families and resolution to open investigations."

(Frank Lewis. "Search continues for missing Ross County women."
Portsmouth Daily Times. June 15, 2015)

This news is not deterring brother Jeremy and sister-in-law Kadie Lancaster. In an effort to raise community interest about information concerning all of the missing people from Scioto County to Franklin County, they are holding yet another event titled "In Plain Sight... Help Break the Chains" on Sunday, July 12, in Portsmouth's Tracy Park.

The event will feature awareness of human trafficking and drug addiction, community support, food, music, activities for children, and vendors. All money raised will help support the missing in the community.

I hope "active participation" from the local and state communities will unite efforts to solve these cases of missing persons. What could be more important than to take an active role in all efforts to save human lives and to convict criminals still on the loose who threaten us all?

The Night

by Hilaire Belloc

Still a mystery,
I can’t figure out;
Race home from work,
Where life is without.

I race to see you,
And hold you to me;
My mind says you’re there,
And my heart won’t see.

I open the door,
It’s still a surprise:
You’re not there,
And tears fill my eyes.

I need someone,
Or call on the phone;
But nothing breaks the silence,
Of these walls made of stone.

I punish myself,
By refusing to eat:
Depression is silent,
I hear my heart beat.

Where can I go,
Or should I stay:
Shy to choose,
In bed I lay.

Time will pass,
And the dark sets in;
Lying there wishing,
I could still touch your skin.

Lying there hurting,
I wish I could die;
Missing you so much,
Again I start to cry.

Sometimes I wonder,
If you even know;
The way that I need you,
Would you still go.

I can’t sleep now,
Again a long night;
Are you this lonely?
Do you share in my fright?

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