Special Report: Left Behind

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

Tifton, GA (WALB) –  There are more than 105,000 missing person cases in the United States according to National Crime Information Center.

More than half are children. In Georgia, the GBI website features 28 missing person cases including several in Southwest Georgia. When someone goes missing, it can be tough on the family, left wondering and hoping.

When Fannie Corley's car was found abandoned on the Jefferson Street Bridge in December, rescue workers and volunteers scoured the creek and Lake Chehaw area. She's never been found and without closure it's been difficult for her family who are left behind.

Her picture is the first one you'll see on America's Most Wanted's Missing Person website. Sunday Blomberg disappeared from her Tift County home April 22nd, leaving the GBI and her family with a lot of questions.

"She was a very gregarious person, very friendly, laughing, smiling all the time and that she was a person that communicated a lot and for her not to communicate with either friends or family is very suspicious," said GBI Agent Mark Pro.

Suspicious because Blomberg left behind her seven year old daughter. She was planning to move back to Tallahassee, Florida, but never made it. Her neighbor Cheryl Yawn Vassey can relate, her daughter Chasity went missing in 1988.

"I just wasn't like Chasity not to come back to my grandmother's house where she was staying at the time," said Cheryl Yawn Vassey, Chasity Yawn's Mother.

She could see the worry on Sunday's mothers face.

"We talked about it being in God's hands and just you know I told her I would be there if she needed me," Vassey said.

Because Cheryl's been through the worst Chasity was found murdered. April 28th would have been her 30th birthday.

"When somebody's missing and you find them regardless of the situation you can have some sort of closure, then move on, but when you don't find them you're always wondering, always looking, every time the phone rings, you're wondering if it's them," Vassey said.

It's the situation confronting the Corley family five months after Fannie Corley disappeared in Lee County. Her car abandoned on the Jefferson Street Bridge.

"We still miss her and we still think about her and we pray at night that she's made it to heaven," said Amanda Corley Holt, Fannie Corley's Granddaughter

They've returned to day to day activities, but psychologists say that for other families it can be crippling.

"It puts people in a real holding pattern they're not able to really move forward and grow and live life normally because they're so busy worrying," said Cheryl Kaiser, PhD of Insight Psychotherapy.

The Corleys have survived through the family's strength.

"She is the one that instilled the strength and the love to go on and she would not want us to have just given up," said Holt.

Strength that also comes from the community that continues to search for Corley today. Her pants were found several weeks ago on the river bank.

"There's build up when people are searching for an individual, there's build up and not only hope within the individual but hope within the community and all the rescuers and all the people that are invested in this,"  Kaiser said.

But when that person isn't found it can be deflating. Fannie had mental health issues. The Corley's hope, if anything, her case might be an example.

"When you're in crisis and a mental health patient you need to be seen, you don't need to be put off, it doesn't matter if it's a holiday," said Holt.

Like most in their situation, the Grinsteads, who continue to search for Tara, and the Holloways, who continue to search for Natalie, they all want one thing, closure.

"We're hoping and wishing that one day that she can be found and put out there to rest with my grandfather where she needs to be," Kaiser said.

Until that day comes, they'll continue to wonder where their loved ones are, and why they've been left behind.

GBI agents say new technology, like Facebook and digital media has made it easier to get missing person information disseminated.

If you have information on any of these missing person cases you're urged to call the GBI.

 Scroll below the 'comments section' to link to the GBI's Mising Person website

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