Sunday, July 17, 2011

Missing Susan Ryan

On June 5th, 2011 a one year anniversary event was held in Christmas Run Park in Wooster, Ohio, a favorite place of Susan Ryan.  It wasn't an anniversary celebration as one might think, but an event to commemorate the fact that Susan has been missing from  the area for a year.

It's been a year of turmoil and unanswered questions for her daughter, Helen Ryan-Zimmel, who has tirelessly organized events, as she entered the world of the missing.  Attending a national conference sponsored by CUE Center for Missing Persons, she was embraced by others within that world and came away with a better understanding of what lay ahead. Her days filled with constantly calling hospitals, police departments and missing persons organizations, Helen found a lot of positive support from the community and the willingness of them to volunteer their time in the effort to find her mother.

Helen recalls her mother as a "homebody," someone who liked to sit with her things and her pets in familiar surroundings, not really venturing out much. They enjoyed the same television programs and movies, often making a night of either CSI, Star Trek or a bunch of B movies.  Although estranged from many in her family, mother and daughter were exceptionally close. Helen was taught to be independent, open minded and had more like a best friend relationship with her mother.

Although Susan was usually at home, she communicated on a regular basis with her circle of close friends, as well as her daughter, talking by phone more than once a day.  She was essential to one of her friends whose husband lost a battle with brain cancer, later establishing little traditions to help her through her grief.

Helen tells about a vacation they took together to San Antonio, TX to see Helen's husband graduate from Medic training with the US Army.  Susan was a very proud mother-in-law, close to her son-in-law, and very, very worried about his upcoming deployment overseas.  She was worried about his safety, and also worried about Helen being alone.

Helen says that a few months before she vanished, Susan wasn't herself.  She had been suffering with an infection in her teeth that seemed to be making her sicker, and Helen noticed a change in her personality as a result.  Susan had become depressed, but Helen feels she would not take her own life.  Susan had a very deep faith in God, receiving a minister's license when Helen was small.  She could be described as a "tough cookie" by some of the jobs she held over the years from driving a school bus, to doing in home nursing and working on the floor of a factory.

It remains a mystery what happened on that day, June 5, 2010, when Susan Ryan was last seen at an intersection in Wooster, Ohio.  Many things were uncharacteristic of Susan that day, like leaving her dog behind, leaving without her cell phone or credit cards. Susan didn't own a car, and was on foot when last seen.  All leads in her case are considered and quickly followed.

Helen has expressed extreme gratitude for the work of the Wooster Police Department who has been devoted to the case, along with members of the community for their response and support.

As the balloons rise up to the sky as a gesture of hope from one of her favorite places, many prayers go up with them as well. Prayers that Susan Ryan is finding peace and that she will return to her family soon.

Helen Ryan-Zimmel and her mother, Susan Ryan
"Perhaps they are not stars, but openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines on us to let us know they are happy" - Eskimo Proverb
From CUE Center for Missing Persons:

Circumstances of Disappearance: 
Susan left on foot during the early morning hours. She left behind all of her possession including her cellphone, purse, credit cards, taxi pass, and her dog.Family states that it is very uncharacteristic of her to leave her dog behind.
Her case remains unsolved.
Investigative Agency: 
Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept
Agency Phone: (330) 287-5700
If you have any information on this case please contact  Cue Center for Missing Persons at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

Missing from: Wooster, Ohio
Missing since:06/05/10
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at time of disappearance: 58
Date Of Birth:04/17/52
White Female
Height: 5′ 3
Weight: 105 lbs
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Clothing: Jeans, white sneakers
Identifying Characteristics:  Partial dentures, Glasses with transition lenses (either wearing beige or red pair), rose tattoo on back hip, dragon tattoo on collar bone, phoenix tattoo on collar bone. Her mental health is declining.
Nickname: Susie Stern

Official Family Website:   Where is Susan Ryan

Facebook Page:  Missing Susan Ryan

NamUs MP # 7421


Oct. 17, 2011

Human remains believed to be of Susan Ryan

WOOSTER -- Police found human remains Saturday which they believe to be of Susan Ryan, the Wooster woman missing since June 2010.
According to a press release issued by the Wooster Police Department, at about 4:30 p.m. officers responded to a call of the discovery of possible remains in a dense brush area just south of the Wayne County Fairgrounds, near the western-most building along Kemrow Street.
Chief Matt Fisher said the remains were located by a man working in the area. Fisher explained the human skeletal remains were collected along with a small handgun and photo identification, which are leading police to believe the remains are that of Ryan.
Ryan was reported missing June 5, 2010 after quitting her job in Wooster two days prior. She was believed to have left her house on foot with nothing more than a map, her identification and a handgun.
Numerous searches led by police and volunteers around Wooster's parks, including Christmas Run, yielded no leads on her whereabouts. Police also followed leads of alleged Ryan sightings around Ohio, such as in Elyria.
The case essentially went cold with no new leads since August 2010. Detectives believed Ryan may have wished to commit suicide, given that she had a handgun with her and left behind several valuables she reportedly never left behind. But with no firm evidence one way or the other, investigators and family members were left with nothing but hope she would turn up.
Ryan would have turned 59 years old this past April.
The Wayne County Coroner's office is testing the remains for a cause of death and will be matching the remains with dental records for Ryan.
"No foul play is suspected," Fisher said, as he stated the case is still under investigation.
"This investigation is still ongoing and we ask that you keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time," added the release on the discovery.

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