For families of local missing persons, one can never give up hope

By Demetra Ganias

Families with missing loved ones were given new hope when a woman in California, held prisoner for eighteen years, was reunited with her family.

Some Capital Region families say they're waiting for the same miracle.

It has been more than five years since Craig Frear disappeared. The Scotia-Glenville student was seventeen at the time. His family still aches to see him.

Craig's mother, Veronica Frear, says, “Life is never the same, it loses its shine, its luster, it really does.”

Craig's brother is getting married in a few weeks, his little sister is now in college. Craig's spirit is always with them.

Veronica Frear adds, “We do refer to him and hope and pray and say, yes, he would like this or when I make his favorite dinner. It's hard. It's hard to get through every day life.”

Yet the miraculous story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, found eighteen years later, offers Veronica new hope that one day she'll come home to find Craig sitting in her kitchen.

“Yes, years have passed,” Veronica Frear said, “but that doesn't mean we won't find him and that doesn't mean there's not hope for all of us.”

Of course, Dugard was held captive and allegedly raped – a reality that makes the Frear's anxious.

“You live with this gut wrenching fear everyday – what is my child going through? What has my child gone through? What is his condition? Are they wanting us? Are they missing us?” Veronica wondered.

She is constantly pushing to find Craig; on the phone with State Police nearly every day.

“I just want to someday be able to touch him, and hold him and smell him and have my son back in my arms,” Veronica Frear said.

The family of Suzanne Lyall, the UAlbany student who disappeared in 1998, are also closely watching Dugard's case.

Parents Doug and Mary Lyall have focused their pain to help other parents looking for their children, founding the local “Center for Hope”.

NEWS10 spoke with the Lyalls by phone on Friday.

Mary Lyall said, “We're so excited at this, and it only shows you can never give up hope. We're just hoping one day we'll find Suzy in the same way.”

Doug Lyall told NEWS10, “Miracles happen, and this restores our faith that unlikely things can happen.

“It's easy to get discouraged but you need stories like this to rekindle your energy.”

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