Points well taken, Carolyn, and I am sure there was nothing you could have done differently. I am so sorry for what you are going through.
Spearfish man still missing in Louisiana
BY MICHELLE HALL, Black Hills Pioneer April 02, 2007
SPEARFISH - A former Spearfish man disappeared in September of 2006 without a trace and is still missing.
Clinton Nelson, 21, was last seen on Sept. 1, 2006, at approximately 8:30 p.m., leaving a friend's house in Princeton, La. His mother Carolyn Johnson of Spearfish said, "He was at a friend's house and he left the house walking around 8:30 p.m. and just vanished."
Johnson said it has been incredibly hard on her family. "You go through the whole gamut of emotions," she said. "Is he alive, is he dead, if he is dead where is he, is he hurt, is he scared." She said he has two sisters, Tarah, 16 and Amanda, 22, who have both had a really hard time with his disappearance. "They have both had a really difficult time at understanding what has happened and not knowing how to deal with it because we don't know what has happened," she said.
There have been varying stories about his disappearance, which have piqued the interest of local law enforcement. Johnson said they've been talking to the Louisiana Police and they are treating it as a crime. Detective Charles Owens, said they have to treat any missing person in that manner, just in case there was foul play involved and they have to take evidence into a courtroom. In reference to Nelson, he said, "Due to the circumstances of this case, it's highly likely a criminal offense has occurred but it still remains the possibility that its not."
The police department is not the only establishment involved with the case. Texas EquuSearch was called in to help with the search efforts around Thanksgiving, but they didn't find anything.
Through tears, Johnson said, "Whatever happened that night, we don't know and I'm praying that if he's still alive and has spoken to anyone that they would come forward and let us know that. If anybody knows anything we just want Clinton to know how much we love him and miss him."
Case coordinator from TES, Cindy Wisdom said, "We searched there for two days. We were able to do some things law enforcement was not able to do. We were able to speak with the people who had last spoken to him and search their grounds. We're still working with law enforcement to try and clear this case."
Texas EquuSearch is a highly acclaimed Mounted Search and Recovery Team that was started in August 2000 with the purpose to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons. Tim Miller, a parent of a child who had been murdered, started the organization. Miller and the others do not charge families for their services when they contact them with a missing person.
Texas EquuSearch is a non-profit, strictly volunteer organization that is funded completely by donations. Wisdom said the most important thing is time. "Don't wait to call us we need to be the second phone call after law enforcement. Time is of the essence."
"We've been credited with the highest find rate of any search and recovery organization in the country," said Wisdom. She emphasized that they utilize a lot of technology that may not be available to law enforcement because of cost.
"We are no longer just on horseback, we utilize ATV's, airplanes, helicopters, remote aircraft and a very large range of technical equipment," she said.
Owens agreed saying, "They have dogs to assist in searching that can find evidence that humans can't detect. They do have a lot assets available a lot of departments can't afford to have, such as helicopters or dogs, it's a group we can call on to assist law enforcement".
The relationship between the organization and law enforcement is beneficial. Wisdom said, "It's a good relationship. Law enforcement doesn't have the resources we do. We can get whatever we need within hours. We have such a large resource base. The biggest expense is hotels."
Owens said, "They came up (to Louisiana) and provided some manpower and equipment for the search. They're always helpful. They have quite a good reputation in Texas for assisting missing person searches."
The two entities are working together to find information about Nelson. Johnson said that Texas EquuSearch has recently donated $5,000 to the reward for information leading to her son's whereabouts and/or information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. That was added to the $5,000 reward already being offered by the family and the $2,500 Johnson's office donated.
"The reward money is to try to get some incentive for someone to come forward," Johnson said. "If anything were revealed they (Texas EquuSearch) would be willing to go in and help organize or assist with any other searches."
Johnson said she would like to encourage anybody who would like to help to make donations to the Texas EquuSearch foundation. Donations can be sent to Texas Equusearch, P.O. box 395, Dickenson, TX 77539 or donations can be made directly through the Texas EquuSearch website at Texas EquuSearch - The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team was started in August, 2000 with the purpose to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons..
The Black Hills Pioneer, Newspapers, South Dakota, SD