Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Alice Donovan, Coming Home

Much has been written and on broadcast news the past couple days about the discovery of human remains in Horry County, SC and speculation about those remains being Alice Donovan. If you follow the news you know that CUE Center for Missing Persons, and specifically, Monica Caison, has had a connection with this case since Alice was kidnapped and murdered 6 years ago. Monica searched the rural fields and woods of North and South Carolina every day for over 4 months back in 2002. Nothing was ever found, and two daughters hit the downward spiral of unending torture and grief.

Angie Gilchrist and Jennifer Warner were left, not only without their mother, but with the open wound of not knowing where her final resting place would be. When a family member is missing, there's no closure, no conclusion to the grieving process, and daily torture. The case made national news, the two killers were sentenced to death row, and the news dropped off the radar, but Angie and Jen, with their emotions boiling over, continued to live the daily nightmare.

One day I was wondering what happened in that case, googled Alice's name, and found a little entry on a blog, with some personal pictures, written by daughter Angie. It broke my heart to see her words with all the sadness still there, and I felt I needed to see where this was heading. I started this blog, Mothers are Vanishing, and wrote an entry about Alice. I knew her case details well, it all happened in my little home town at the beach, and wondered if she was ever found.

Angie contacted me through the blog, we corresponded, became "online friends", and met for the first time at the final stop on the Cue Center "Road to Remember" Tour in Whiteville, NC. Angie was instrumental and a big part of our networking site, Peace4 the Missing, and there her words began to bloom, she met several others who knew her pain, and she's become known for her compassion. Angie and Jen have endured every tumultuous emotion the last six years and have had to deal with pressures unknown to many.

Yesterday the dam broke. After making the decision to actively get back into finding her mother, after heroically holding a memorial benefit, after contacting Monica Caison to reopen the case, after days of searching, after finding remains exactly where the killer said they would be, after news reporters hovering all day long, after 6 years of not knowing where her mother might be, Angie broke down and cried.

If the DNA results confirm that indeed these are the remains of Alice Donovan, Angie and Jen and all of us who know and love them, will travel down a different emotional path, one that has been on hold for 6 long years. The grieving process will find it's way to completion for them, in its own way, it its own time, but at least now they will know that Alice, their mother, is finally home and her soul is resting in peace.

Jennifer Warner made the comment in a news interview that even if the DNA proves that it's not her mother, it's still someone's family member, another family that has been waiting to know, and it gives her a small bit of comfort to know that someone's family will find resolution.

With the unending quest of Monica Caison and her band of selfless volunteers, the friends online and in real life, a "special" FBI agent, and family members close to them, Angie and Jen will have a huge network of support and encouragement to help them cope and help them find the peace that has been missing in their lives for 6 long years.

Please join us at Peace4 the Missing

Network and Support for Missing Persons
and their families and friends.

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