Where in the world is Dail Dinwiddie?
Our mission soon became a nonprofit organization called the Dail Dinwiddie Safe Streets Foundation, which was aimed at helping find any and all missing adults, as well as educating young people about personal safety. Our board, of which I was president, included the executive director of South Carolina's Adam Walsh Center, Margaret Frierson, our aforementioned Red Cross Guy, and other local leaders interested in helping find Dail but also in addressing a broader problem, which was that missing adults are typically on their own for 24 hours before police get involved. By then, the trail becomes cold and the missing person is less likely to be found. Thus, we became sort of an on-call adjunct to the police department when an adult went missing, filling the 24-hour void with a public relations campaign, broadcasting the missing person's name and face, and acting as intermediary between family and law enforcement.
Over the years, momentum waned. Volunteers graduated and migrated. Some, including our Red Cross guru, have died. A drawer in my office still contains Dail's posters, bumper stickers and a few personal alarms we distributed to college students as part of a campus awareness project. In my brief experience as a quasi-detective, most of the missing turned up either dead or in jail.
As for Dail, who knows?
Each time a wannabe perp comes forward to "confess," hope dims a little. Each time somebody long missing is discovered, hope is rekindled. Someone out there can solve this mystery if he or she chooses. Someone has the power to release Dan and Jean Dinwiddie from a horrific nightmare that has consumed them for 25 years.
This is their fervent hope on this quarter-century mark. Please.
Kathleen Parker's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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