ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As we look closer into the story of the missing 16-year-old Jakarah Lopez-Moore who was recently found dead — more families are speaking up about the cases of their missing loved ones going unsolved.
One of the family members that is still looking for answers after almost two years sat down with News 8 and told us what happened.
Joyce Williams, mother of missing 28-year-old Tommy Williams said she and her son were very close. She described him as a wonderful son, sibling, and father. She remembers the last time she saw him and says that final conversation she had with him sent chills down her spine.
“I was getting ready for work when he sat on my bed and he said, ‘Mom give me a hug and a kiss, ’cause you never know, and I said ‘Tommy!’ He said ‘Mom!’ and he put his hands up, and he said ‘Mom, you just never know, I might go missing.'”
Williams says surely enough she never heard from him again with no trace and no explanation as to what could have happened to her son. She says this day marks one year and eight months since his disappearance.
With some recent cases garnering attention, one woman by the name Merry Diers founded a Facebook page in February of 2021 called the Western New York Missing and Unidentified Persons Network says she’s doing what she can to put a stop to it.
“Growing up, I’m hearing these cases long-term missing, unsolved, and as I became an adult, I realized many of these cases many of the women children, and men that are missing here locally are still actively missing years later, their cases remain unsolved, their families don’t have closure they deserve and desperately need,” Diers said.
So with her social media following, she gets in contact with these families to share photos and descriptions to help get answers and reunite loved ones.
Joyce Williams empathizes with the family of Jakarah and gives her condolences.
“I’m very sorry for your loss because I know what you went through to have a child missing and every day you wonder what happened to her,” Williams said. “”My heart goes out to Jakarah’s family, you know, and I really feel bad for them, and I thank God though that you got closure, because I didn’t.”
According to the Rochester Police Department, there are currently 63 missing youth in Rochester.
Anyone with any information on these cases, or anonymous tips is asked to call 911.