Note: This is a sensitive and descriptive post yet it comes from the heart of a sister, me, touched by another sister, Sharon's, grief.
Yesterday AOL featured the story about Tracy Melton. Tracy disappeared in June 1998. In 2002 California authorities contacted her sister, Sharon, for a DNA sample to be included in the national database. In 2003 and 2008 Sharon’s DNA was used in hopes to identify remains found in 2002 but they were not 100%. In April 2011, the remains were positively identified as Tracy Melton but the family wasn’t notified until last week. My heart breaks at this story for the lack of communication between the family and law enforcement.
At the same time I am thankful. I’m thankful for open communication with the Oswego County Sheriff’s department as it pertains to my sister, Heidi M. Allen, and her case. They didn’t ignore Heidi’s disappearance or set it aside. Eighteen years later the Sheriff and his team of investigators still meet and go over Heidi’s case. They still contact my parents throughout the year to ensure we know they have not forgotten. They include me, Heidi’s sister as a member of the team.
For this and more I am thankful yet there is a part of me after reading an article and hearing a sister’s heartbreak through an interview that breaks my heart. Just because the Oswego County Sheriff’s is doing their job doesn’t necessarily mean Heidi’s remains haven’t already been found. What if Heidi’s remains have been found in another county or state? It isn’t personal to them.
Mom, Dad, and I have given our DNA twice to be included in the national directory in the past few years. Mom and Dad gave theirs in 1994 but with the new technology, it was given again. Although we’ve done our part, we need to trust and pray if Heidi has been found that our DNA will help to identify her remains so the family and community can move to the next step in the grieving process.
Tracy Melton’s family has searched for over fourteen years when in truth, Tracy’s remains were discovered after four years, with another nine years before there is a positive identification. The family could have been at a different level of healing this past April when they remembered Tracy on her birthday but because their notification “slipped through the cracks”, they continued to hold out hope of her discovery.
Will you join me in prayer for the Melton family during this difficult time? I pray for Sharon to know the loving strength and hope found in Jesus, the words shared in her interviews touch my heart. The pain, fear, anger, and grief weigh on me. Please pray for the entire family. Tracy Melton had three children when she disappeared – 11, 7, and 6 years of age. I don’t know the exact words to pray but know the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with
groans that words cannot express.
There are links below today's YouTube video too.
To read more about Tracy’s disappearance and hear her sister’s reaction:
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System:
Heidi’s Listing on NaMus:
https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/5491/0/ - My parents and I have submitted DNA twice in the past two years (in addition to the initial back in 1994) and there is such a backlog, it still isn’t in the national system to start comparing it to the thousands of remains awaiting identification.
Center for Human Identification Success Stories
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323