ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On April 15, 2023, New York State will hold its 20th annual “Missing Persons Day,” ceremony where families come together to remember missing persons in their life. The event is spearheaded by Mary Lyall, whose daughter Suzanne disappeared 25 years ago. 

In 2001, Mary and her family established the Center for Hope, which leads national efforts to find missing persons and advocate for preventative laws, including Suzanne’s Law in 2003.

“What we went through the first four or five years — we didn’t have a lot of help from anywhere and we just felt like people needed to have answers, needed to know what they have to do,” Mary Lyall said.

 Dr. Christina Lane is the director of the Cold Case Analysis Center at the College of Saint Rose. Her students work directly with law enforcement on regional cold cases, including Lyall’s disappearance. 

“There’s so much information out there on the internet and so much information her and her husband have collected over the years in pursuit of finding their daughter,” Lane said. “With that information, the students go over the internet, Facebook pages, anything they can do to find information about their daughter, the people that she knew and their histories.” 

“We’re able to actually take that information, work on it, develop it even more and understand these avenues are what we’re able to do to help other people,” Enxhi Hoxha, Intern at the Cold Case Analysis Center, said.

Lyall said it’s crucial to keep missing persons in the public’s memory in hopes of finding answers for their loved ones and families. 

“People who give up after so many years and when they come to something like this, they feel renewed like I’m going to go back out there and do something.”