Missing persons appear on a daily basis for members of BeUnited M.R.T, a nonprofit organization based in St. Joseph whose mission is to help locate people across the country.
BeUnited started its journey last month with five team members, president and police liaison David Wilson, vice president Teresa Wilson, treasurer and secretary Carrie Windsor, community outreach volunteer Frank Windsor and fundraising coordinator Holly Etchison.
The goal is to get the word out about missing people with the use of flyers, locate them and reunite loved ones.
David Wilson was inspired to start the organization after social media played a key role in helping find his daughter when she was abducted.
“Through social media someone noticed her and she was able to get to a phone and contact us and police, and she was picked up,” Wilson said.
Along with making flyers, the group also helps search for individuals if the family or law enforcement requests public assistance.
“We will not turn anyone away. As long as a police report has been made, we will get a flyer up in five minutes,” Wilson said.
The organization pays close attention to reports made locally, but it has helped with missing cases from several different states.
A woman contacted the group from Tennessee seeking help finding her two grandchildren. Wilson and the group put out a flyer, and it reached someone in California who spotted the two kids.
“A woman was waiting on her food at a restaurant and just happened to be scrolling through Facebook and saw our flyer and contacted police,” Wilson said. “The grandmother contacted us the next day and said the children were in route back to Tennessee.”
The group’s active case load is currently 443 for the entire country. It has 210 Missouri cases but is working on getting more flyers out there. There are 39 active cases in Buchanan County.
Wilson has a police contact in all 50 states to help with any case the group comes across.
“We stand with the families so they don’t have to stand alone,” Wilson said.
Wilson advises all parents to get a child ID kit for each person in their house in the case anyone goes missing. Individuals interested in the kit can contact local law enforcement or www.be-united.org.