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Missing Woman: Randa Jawhari - MI - 02/11/2009

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A special story written by the family for the 18 Wheel Angels campaign:

More Than Missing

My sister Randa Jawhari was reported Missing on Feb. 11, 2009.  My mother saw her the evening before, handing her a blue robe after she had taken her shower.  My mother laid out her clothes that evening, then went home.  The last anyone has heard from Randa was at approx. 11:30 pm.  Randa informed my sister she was tired and going to bed.  Randa had a habit of calling her daughter every morning before she left to go to school.  When Randa didn't call, my mother went to Randa's apartment, after dropping Matty at school.  My mother discovered the apartment was left just like she had seen it the night before.  The blue robe Randa had been wearing was missing.  The clothes my mother had laid out for Randa were where my mother put them.  Randa left without packing anything, left her identification behind, and a full pack of cigarettes also, which was strange, because Randa was a smoker, and wouldn't be without cigarettes. 

As of this moment the police have no clues to go on.  All our searches have come up without clues.  It is unlikely Randa walked away that evening, because she was afraid of the dark and always slept with some light on.  She was very attached to her daughter and family.  Randa's contact to anyone had always been through the phone.  Most of her visitors were her family and the neighbors don't recall anyone different visiting Randa.

My sister has been MISSING now for nine months.  She is one of nine kids, and is a twin herself.  My family has not gotten together except for her vigil. which we put on in honor of her birthday in June.  We have been unable to get together without Randa.  We are incomplete without her and our hearts burn everyday without her.  I have never been with my mother, not one time, without her tears falling.  We have no comfort at all in the future, until we know what has happened to my sister. My family will not take a family picture without Randa.  Our hearts SCREAM for help of anyone who will listen to our cry, but yet the authorities we cry to don't know what to do.  We MISS Randa everyday.  We wake up everyday asking the same question, "What happened to Randa?" 

Naheda Jawhari, Sister of Missing Randa Jawhari

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Home for the Holidays

Randa Jawhari, missing from Fenton, MI since 2/10/2009

I come from a large family. There are 8 kids in our family, 7 girls and 1 brother. Randa is 3rd from the youngest born, and has a fraternal twin sister. This has been a very difficult year, since Randa has been MISSING since February 11th, 2009. It’s been almost 9 months now, without any clues left behind of her whereabouts.

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I’m finding it very hard to celebrate any occasion; I have not celebrated any birthdays, holidays or special days since Randa’s disappearance. Since Randa’s disappearance the days that seem to bring joy to so many people, are the days that bring grief for my family and I.

When Mother’s Day came around, I was weakened by the day. I just couldn’t face my mother or Randa’s daughter. How do you comfort someone, when you need comforting yourself? I called my mother and apologized, but I was grateful to know my mother’s sister’s came from Ohio to spend the day with my mother. My mother still cries every time I see her. I can only imagine what my mother is going through.

Randa’s daughter Mattilyn, turned 7 in April, which is the same month as my birthday. Although my mother did have a birthday gathering with Matty’s friends, I went there to help my mother. It was a very sad day for my mother and me, because we tried hard all day to put our best face on for Matty. Matty’s birthday was considered a huge holiday for Randa. I think Randa thought it should have been declared a national holiday. Randa would immediately start thinking of Matty’s next birthday celebration after Matty’s birthday.

It was difficult on my birthday as well. My family and I agreed not to buy birthday gifts for each other, since our family was increasing. We decided we would only buy gifts for the children in the family, but not the adults. Randa didn’t agree to it, because every time our birthdays came around, Randa would still buy gifts, even though she lived on a minimal income. Randa’s heart was a giving one; that is my sister; that is my friend; that is the person I want to scream to the people that don’t know her.

Easter came around as well. Randa had so much faith. I believe she had more faith than my whole family did. She was a prayer warrior. I have not been back to Church since her disappearance. It’s not that I don’t believe anymore, but I had prayed for Randa the morning of her disappearance, before I had known she had disappeared. I just believe no matter how much you pray for someone, God is still going to allow things to happen anyway. I do know I still love Him, and I don’t want to live without faith, but I can’t understand this. I hear it all the time that everything happens for a reason, and it is always for the best, it is for something we need to learn, but you have to believe. I don’t know what I need to learn, but I do know whatever it is I need to learn, it is not worth the pain, it’s not worth losing my beautiful sister.

We celebrated Randa’s and Ghada’s birthday in June, by having a prayer vigil for Randa. That day just didn’t seem right, a day always meant to be celebrated, and was celebrated by a vigil. It was a good reason, to have the news media come, just to get my sister back in the news. Now we look for reason to get Randa back in the news. We have one billboard in Fenton, on the expressway, and hopefully we’ll have another one up on another expressway. It is the billboard that is still keeping the public aware my sister is still missing. As many times as we have posted and reposted flyers, people still bring them down. The billboard and flyers are difficult for my family and me to see. It feels like a stab in the heart every time we pass them, but it is something necessary when you have a missing loved one disappear.

Holidays are difficult. When someone you’ve loved your whole life is missing. My family and I have not celebrated anything. I don’t want to celebrate anything. I don’t ever want to take another family picture again, I just can’t do it. The prayer vigil for Randa was the first and last time my family has been together in one place. That was appropriate, I could handle that, but I can’t handle a family gathering right now with Randa still missing.

My favorite holiday memory that I have of Randa, is New Years Eve. We had a family member that had been struggling with drug addiction who was in rehab at the time. Randa and I dedicate that night to her, and said we would not drink any alcohol all evening. While everyone in club was drinking and acting stupid, Randa and I stuck to our plan, and had more fun than everyone else in the club. I think we were the only two straight people there. I miss her!!! Randa loved the holidays because she always looked forward for any reason our family would get together. She just loved hanging out with the family.

My favorite present that I had given Randa, and my favorite present Randa has given me, is the love that we had for each other. I love her so much. Randa is a beautiful jewel in the midst of our family. I have had a history of painful events within my lifetime, but if I added all my painful events that have happened in my lifetime, it would not equal to the pain of not knowing where Randa is, or what happened to my sister. This is different than anything I have ever experienced. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Life still continues to go on. Sometimes I wish the world would just stop to catch my breath. I am still working; I just started to go back to school, which I was in the process of doing before Randa’s disappearance. I had to put it on the back burner for a while. I am trying to keep myself as busy as possible, I think being busy is good for me, but no matter how busy I may be, my sister is always on my mind and in everything I do. Sometimes I can do nothing but feel the pain of Randa missing. This is pain that is indescribable, I can’t explain it, I can only feel it.

I know tragedy happens where people don’t always have an opportunity to say good-bye, with sudden deaths, but they have closure in knowing what happened to their loved ones. I consider people to be blessed in having an opportunity to say good-bye to their loved ones. I have a need within me to let Randa how I feel. I have regrets in wanting Randa to know how sorry I am. I miss her voice. I miss her face. I miss hugging her, I miss our talks, and I miss her phone calls, which I received almost every day from her. I miss everything about her, I feel as though there is a void within me that Randa can only fill. I feel as though I’ve contracted an incurable disease, and Randa is the only cure to save me.

Where I find strength to continue to search for Randa is the fact that we haven’t discovered the worst case scenario. She is still missing and anything is possible. I find strength in every time I am doing something in her search. Whether posting a poster, calling on the media, writing this letter, or anything else I can do in helping in the search for my beautiful sister. I don’t feel good in doing nothing. I have to answer to myself, to Matty, my mother, my family and to Randa, to say one day that I have done everything in my power in trying to find Randa. I will never give up, no matter where I go; I’m always looking for my sister.

Yes, the holidays are among us. What do I say about that? I have nothing to say to that, my sister is missing.

To all those that have missing loved ones, I feel your pain. May we all find the answer to the question of what happened to those we’ve loved our whole life. May God give us the strength in knowing the truth!!!


Naheda Jawhari

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A year late, family still searching for missing Randa Jawhari

By Laura Misjak | The Flint Journal  February 06, 2010, 7:00AM

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Thursday marks the year anniversary of the day that Randa Jawhari went missing from her Fenton apartment. With no new leads, Naheda (left) and Rocky Jawhari (right) and their four other siblings and parents continue the search for their sister.

FENTON, Michigan — On the 11th day of every month, Naheda Jawhari has a hard time getting out of bed. Diana Anderson feels paralyzed those days. Anissa Jawhari will lose sleep.

It’s not simply a coincidence. The seven siblings and parents of Randa Jawhari find it hard to function every month that’s gone by without her.

“I don’t even realize what’s going on, then I realize it’s the 11th,†said Diana Anderson, 37, Randa’s younger sister. “It washes over me. We are so close, but at the same time, you carry each other’s pain and burden. You fall apart.â€

Randa Jawhari

It’s been nearly a year since Randa Jawhari disappeared from her Shiawassee Avenue apartment in Fenton.

There were no signs of foul play, no evidence of why she left. Randa seems to have vanished, her family says, leaving behind everything but a bathrobe.

“She called each and every one of us eight times a day,†said Naheda Jawhari. “And if we didn’t answer, she’d leave a never-ending message.â€

Randa’s mother, Anissa Jawhari, knew something was wrong when she hadn’t heard from her daugher by 7 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2009.

Randa’s daughter, Mattilyn, 7, lives with Anissa Jawhari, and Randa would call every morning before Mattilyn went to school, Anissa said.

That morning she didn’t.

“Randa can not function without her family,†said her brother, Sam Jawhari, 50. “She needed us and she knew it.â€

Randa, 43, has bipolar disorder and suffered from bouts of depression. Family members say she wouldn’t leave her daughter, and when she didn’t return for Mattilyn’s birthday in April, a little more hope was lost.

Randa is artistic, having written a book of poems illustrated with sketches and paintings she had done. She was once an aspiring actress, had a small role in the 1994 film “True Lies,†and taught acting classes at the Rainbow Connection in Flint.

The days following Randa’s disappearance, police and volunteers scoured fields, roadways and other areas. A helicopter searched overhead for her. Police have followed up every tip they’ve had, said Fenton police Detective Ron Skarzynski said.

Police have few leads to follow. The tips have dried up. Police are seeking any information about a man seen with Randa a few months before she went missing.

The man was seen with Randa at a dental appointment and described as clean cut and 30 to 35 years old. He was wearing a long, black leather jacket and silver chains around his neck.

Skarzynski is hoping to find the man to at least rule him out as a suspect.

“It’s not a crime to go missing,†he said. “Nobody has called us with any information of seeing her. ... It’s starting to make us think she’s not in the area.â€

This is the only missing person case of this magnitude the Fenton police department has handled in recent history, Skarzynski said.

For the family, any information at all will be helpful.

“I went to a funeral, and I was jealous,†Anderson said. “That family at least had closure. There’s no closure.â€

For now, Randa’s information is on a billboard that hangs over U.S. 23 and a Web site, The family is offering a $6,000 reward in the case.

“We just don’t want her forgotten,†Naheda Jawhari said. “We are stuck. We are here in limbo.â€

Find Randa Jawhari

Randa Jawhari, 43, is 5-foot-1 and 100 pounds.

She was discovered missing from her Fenton apartment on Feb. 11, 2009.

Police are seeking information on a man last seen with Randa in fall 2008.

More details,

Call Fenton police at (810) 629-5311 with any information.

Fenton police are searching for a man seen with Randa a few months before she went missing.

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One year later…Randa Jawhari still missing

By Sharon Stone Published: Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:26 AM EST

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Randa Jawhari’s disappearance. The Fenton Police Department continues to investigate the Fenton woman’s disappearance, but there have been few leads for detectives to go on.

The Jawhari family reported her missing on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, after Randa’s mother Anisse Jawhari went to go check on her at about 8:30 a.m. only to find her daughter’s apartment empty. Randa’s sister, Fadia Jawhari was the last family member to speak with Randa. The two spoke by telephone at about 11:30 p.m. the night before. Randa spoke using her apartment phone and had no cell phone at the times.

Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as well as other mental and physical ailments, Randa’s mother had guardianship and took care of Randa’s daughter Mattilyn. When

Anisse dropped Mattilyn off at her school in the morning, she went to Randa’s apartment because she was not answering her phone that morning.

Walking into the unlocked and empty apartment, Anisse noticed nothing out of the ordinary, or out of place. She did notice that Randa’s nearly full pack of cigarettes sat on the table beside her favorite chair, an odd thing she thought, as Randa was a chain smoker and would never have left her cigarettes behind.

Randa had a habit of calling family members numerous times, on a daily basis. Police have obtained phone records, which are more like stacks. Since that last call with Fadia, there have been no further calls from Randa, which lead her family and police to view her disappearance as highly suspicious.

Det. Ron Skarzynski, who has been working on the case since the beginning, said from what he has learned, Randa would never have left her daughter, or discontinued contact with her, or the rest of her family for that matter, on her own.

 Randa’s neighbors have been questioned and all have been cooperative with police, however, Skarzynski said no one has been ruled out as a possible suspect.

A male neighbor that Randa was acquainted with went fishing at Crane Lake in Fenton Township the night before she went missing. As part of the investigation, he was questioned thoroughly and continues to stay in contact with Skarzynski. Crane Lake and the area surrounding it were searched more than once, as well as the area near Jawhari’s apartment.

Skarzynski said, “We’re treating this case as a highly suspicious case.

“Something happened, but we can’t prove it was criminal.â€

A surveillance videotape, which filmed the parking lot area of the apartment building, has been reviewed by Fenton police. It has since been turned over to the Michigan State Police for a more thorough examination.

The video camera was motion activated. Family members are bewildered when they try to figure out how Randa got past the parking lot without showing up on the surveillance footage. They are skeptical with the theory that she may not have activated the motion detectors because she walked too slowly.

Police are in the process of reviewing all information they already have and looking at everything again. “Being missing is not a crime,†the detective said. Despite rewards, billboards and media reports about her disappearance, Skarzynski said no one is calling police with any leads.

Randa’s personal information, including dental records have been submitted to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). If a body were found elsewhere, the system would detect if there was a match and notify local authorities. Her information is also listed with every missing person agency.

Skarzynski said police do have a suspect that they cannot identify. This person of interest, a black male, possibly from the Flint area, accompanied Randa to a dental office in Flint more than once. The office clerk, as well as an MTA driver, who drove Randa to Rainbow Connection, in Flint, provided a description of this man. However, he has not been identified. A composite sketch, completed by a Michigan State Police forensic artist was done and being circulated throughout the area.

At this point, police, and family members can only speculate what happened. Skarzynski said Randa’s disappearance could have been the result of an accident, which is now being covered up. He said they just don’t know.

Randa’s brother, Sam Jawhari, said whenever the family gets together, they naturally play out different scenarios as to how Randa could have disappeared. He said the family is convinced that someone knows something and they pray that the person will have a conscience and come forward with information.

Randa’s father, David Jawhari is determined to find his beautiful and loving daughter. Randa had done some modeling and had small parts in movie “True Lies,†with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the movie, “Jake and the Fat Man.†She also wrote and illustrated a book, “Letter from the Rose.â€

Ghada Jawhari, Randa’s twin sister from Ohio is in town to be with the family. Prior to Randa’s disappearance, she dreamt of her twin every day, however, since Randa’s disappearance, she has had only one dream.

Frustration with not knowing where Randa is or what happened to her has taken a toll on the entire Jawhari family. Anisse, Randa’s mother, said she couldn’t stop worrying about her daughter. She said everyone in the family has aged, especially her, and desperately needs to know what happened.

While holding back the tears of anguish, Randa’s parents both insist that if their daughter died because of accident, they would find it in their heart to forgive who was responsible. They are pleading with the public to help them in finding their daughter.

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Fenton Woman Still Missing a Year Later

February 13, 2010

2/13/10 - It’s been one year since a Fenton woman disappeared without a trace. 42 year old Randa Jawhari went missing on February 11th, 2009 from her Shiawassee Avenue apartment. Family members say there were no signs of foul play or any struggle inside the apartment. One year later, Fenton Police still have no solid leads in the case and billboards put up by Jawhari’s family remain in the area in hopes of a break in the case. Police say the case is highly suspicious, but they cannot prove her disappearance was criminal. No one has been ruled out as a possible suspect and neighbors have been questioned. However, Police say they are still trying to identify a person of interest, described as a black male possibly from the Flint area, who accompanied Randa to a dental office in Flint more than once. A composite sketch of the man has been circulated and a surveillance videotape of the parking lot at Jawhari’s apartment has also been turned over to State Police for a more thorough examination. Rewards are being offered in the case and anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Fenton Police Department at (810) 629-5311. The sketch of the person of interest and of the person of interest and other information can be viewed at (JK)

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Randa Jawhari was among the featured people for March 2010 in The Garden for the Missing/Project Jason advertising program within the 3D virtual world, Second Life. The posters are showcased at one of the highest traffic areas in the 3D virtual world, with 45,000 daily visitors from the U.S. and abroad.

These advertisements are purchased by The Garden for the Missing

More information about our efforts in Second Life is available at

The advertisements for each person is displayed for two weeks, then another person’s poster appears. The posters are provided by Project Jason’s Awareness Angels Network --[/url]

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Randa has been missing 2 years. Our thought & Prayers are with her loved ones.

Anyone that knows of her current whereabouts, are asked to contact the Fenton police at (810) 629-5311.

Callers may remain anonymous.

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Police release new photo of missing woman

Updated at 06:55 PM on 2/8/2011

Autumn Perry

FENTON (WJRT) -- (02/08/11)--Two years ago this week, a Fenton woman vanished from her home. For the first time, police are releasing a picture from the morning of her disappearance, hoping it may spark a new lead in the case.

The picture is a snapshot from surveillance video outside Randa Jawhari's apartment complex. Police believe the picture could help solve the mystery of Jawhari's disappearance.

"The quality is poor, but you can make out the image of the car," said Fenton Police Department Det. Ron Skarzynski.

It's a snapshot that could unlock the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jawhari.

"It isn't something that I think she walked away of her own free will," said Fenton Police Chief Richard Aro.

It's been two years since Jawhari vanished from her Fenton apartment. All of her belongings -- including her purse -- were left behind.

"You're stuck in that same day you can't move past that day," said sister Rocky Jawhari.

The case is still open.

"I don't think there is going to be a good outcome to this," Aro said.

But nearly two years to the date since she was last seen, there is a renewed effort to find her. For the first time, police have released the snapshot from the morning she disappeared.

It shows a car leaving her apartment complex.

"It's obviously a small, two-toned dark compact car and it did come into the apartment complex," Skarzynski said. "Maybe it was visiting. Maybe it was dropping something off. We don't know."

"Hopefully he will get more clues to what happened that night and that's what we're praying for," Rocky Jawhari said.

"If she is deceased, I want her to rest in peace," said sister Naheda Jawhari. "If we knew that we could all rest in the closure and move on."

If you have any information about the car seen in the picture or other information, call Fenton police.

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Two years later — Randa Jawhari still missing

Click to see video surveillance of vehicle in question

By Sharon Stone Published: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:42 AM EST

Friday marks the two-year anniversary of Randa Jawhari’s disappearance.

One of eight siblings, Randa was 42 years old when family reported her missing on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. Jawhari’s mother, Anisse Jawhari, stopped by Randa’s apartment shortly after 8 a.m. after dropping Randa’s daughter off at school.

Randa’s tiny apartment at 3464 Shiawassee Avenue was empty. There were no signs of foul play or other evidence to suggest where she had gone.

Family members said Randa had been diagnosed with mental illness. She was a chain smoker and was afraid of the dark. At the time of her disappearance, she was very sick. Nothing appeared missing from her apartment, other than a blue bathrobe. Her cigarettes were found on a table in the living room. She did not own a car and relied on family members or Your Ride for transportation.

Randa’s sister, Fadia Jawhari, was the last known person to speak on the telephone to Randa at about 11:20 p.m. the previous night. Everything appeared to be normal. Phone records for her apartment phone revealed little. She did not have a cell phone or a credit card.

Ground and aerial searches were done and Crane Lake in Fenton Township was searched because Randa’s neighbor told police he had gone fishing there the night before. Police were not ruling out anything.

Randa had many connections with the Flint area because she frequented treatment centers for her mental illness. Posters about Randa’s disappearance were distributed throughout the area. Her profile was submitted to the local and national missing person organizations.

Det. Ron Skarzynski remains frustrated with the lack of leads in this case. A wall in his office is covered with notes, photographs, timelines and drawings.

The residents at the small apartment complex were interviewed, some more than once.

Unknown vehicle

Video footage from the parking lot surveillance camera, activated by motion, was reviewed. Every vehicle entering and leaving the parking lot was eventually accounted for, except one, said Skarzynski.

The unknown vehicle pulled into the parking lot at the apartments at 5:12 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. The vehicle was seen heading to the west side of the lot and out of view of the camera. Approximately one minute later, the vehicle was seen exiting.

Because of the morning darkness, glaring headlights and grainy exposure, Skarzynski and Det. Scott Townsend cannot positively say what kind of vehicle it is. It appears to be a two-tone smaller car, possibly with a hatchback. A forensics lab has enhanced the video. The detectives are hoping that this information might jog the memory of someone who may have forgotten that they pulled into the parking lot that morning.

Unknown companion

Skarzynski is also hoping to identify a well-dressed African-American man who accompanied Jawhari to a dentist on multiple occasions in Flint before her disappearance. Based on information provided by dental office employees, a Michigan State Police artist put together a composite sketch of this man. At this point, the detective would just like to identify and speak with him.

DNA Profiling

A DNA profile was done, using DNA provided by Randa’s parents and daughter. Authorities would be able to connect any remains through DNA testing, in the event a body is found. Needing a break from the investigation, Randa’s parents, Anisse and David Jawhari went back to their native Lebanon several months ago. They are expected to return to Fenton next month.

Diana Anderson

Diana Anderson, Randa’s sister, misses and grieves every day for her sister. “It never goes away. It’s on your mind, every day,†she said.

“I’m still looking for that blue bathrobe. That was the last thing we thought she was wearing.

“It’s sad. It’s hard. I don’t want to be angry anymore.â€

Anderson now cares for Randa’s daughter, Mattilyn. She said because of the situation, Randa’s daughter has a lot of anxiety. In addition to school, they stay busy with dance, music and hockey. Mattilyn sees a child psychologist to help her cope with her mother’s disappearance. Anderson has also sought counseling.

“We’ve done everything,†said Anderson. “He’s (Skarzynski) done everything. I’m angry at this situation.â€

Ghatta Jawhari

Randa’s twin, Ghatta Jawhari, was living in Ohio, but has since moved to Linden. Anderson said Randa’s disappearance has definitely put a strain on the family dynamics as everyone is attempting to find an answer.

Ghatta said she shared everything with Randa. “She shared my life,†she said.

Starting about two weeks before Randa disappeared, Ghatta had dreams about her twin every night. She can’t really remember what happened in the dreams, but she does remember how uneasy they made her feel. Since Randa’s disappearance, she’s had just two dreams.

“Birthdays, holidays, they’re hard,†she said. “I need closure.

“My sister was so optimistic, always. She had so much faith in God. Whatever happened, I know she’s in God’s hands.â€

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Families of missing persons turn to web for clues

by Jenny Suniga

Posted: 11.03.2011 at 11:26 PM

Updated: 11.04.2011 at 8:25 AM

It's being called the nation's silent mass disaster.  More than 100,000 people are actively missing and another 40,000 bodies are unidentified.

There are now websites to help investigators and families of the missing find their loved ones.

Not a day goes by for Diana Anderson without a thought of her older sister Randa Jawhari.

“You never forget about it. It’s in the forefront of your mind.”

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Fenton Woman Still Missing Three Years Later

February 10, 2012

2/10/12 - It will be three years this Saturday since a Fenton woman was last heard from by her family and they continue to search for answers. 42-year-old Randa Jawhari was reported missing February 11th, 2009. Her apartment on Shiawassee Avenue indicated no signs of foul play or other clues as to where she may have gone. Randa, who had been diagnosed with mental illness, didn’t own a car, cell phone or credit card.

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Family clings to fading hope

Feb. 11 marks three years since Randa Jawhari disappeared

Posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:26 pm | Updated: 3:27 pm, Sat Feb 11, 2012.

by Sharon Stone

It's been three years since Randa Jawhari seemingly vanished into thin air.

Randa's disappearance is shrouded in mystery causing painful frustration for her family and police.

The Jawharis reported the 42-year-old woman missing on Feb. 11, 2009 after her mother, Anisse Jawhari, stopped by her apartment around 8 a.m. Randa was not at her tiny Shiawassee Avenue apartment and no clues have ever been found to reveal her whereabouts.

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Four years later, family still looking for Randa

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013 9:22 am

 It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since Randa Jawhari was reported missing. Family members last spoke with the 42-year-old Fenton woman around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009.

 The next morning, Randa’s mother Anisse Jawhari called Randa’s Shiawassee Avenue apartment at 7:30 a.m., however, there was no answer. Since she was caring for Randa’s daughter Mattilyn, Anisse dropped off her granddaughter at school and then drove over to Randa’s apartment around 8:30 a.m. to see if everything was OK. The family knew Randa suffered from mental illness and was frail.

Randa’s apartment was empty, the coffee pot and her favorite chair were cold to the touch. Her mother found the clothes that she had laid out on the bed for Randa, untouched, and a pack of cigarettes sat on the end table next to her favorite chair. A chain smoker, family members knew Randa would never have left behind her cigarettes.

 There were no signs of foul play or a struggle inside the tiny apartment, which has since been rented out to another tenant.

 Randa is part of the large and close-knit Jawhari family, which owned and ran the now closed Beirut Restaurant in downtown Linden. She is one of eight siblings. Her family remains baffled as to what really happened to her.

 A video surveillance camera activated by motion did not pick up any of Randa’s last movements in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Police interviewed residents who lived there in 2009 and all vehicles seen on video entering and exiting the parking lot were accounted for.

 Family members are convinced that someone knows something about Randa’s disappearance. Randa’s sister Rocky Jawhari said early on that someone did something to her (Randa). Randa did not own a cell phone, however, she did make a point of calling any of her siblings or parents daily. Since Feb. 10, 2009, there have been no more phone calls.

 Ground and aerial searches of the area failed to find anything related to Randa, who was known for walking from her apartment, up to the McDonald’s restaurant on Owen Road. A witness told police she was seen asking for cigarettes there, the day before she disappeared.

 Sam Jawhari, Randa’s brother said he and his family are hanging in there, taking it one day at a time. Though he and his sisters and parents think about Randa daily and hope for any lead, they are realistic. “But, what if she’s alive? Do we stop looking for her?” said Sam.

 Sam said his mother has had it the worse with regards to her daughter’s disappearance — and no answers. “My mom, she cries almost every day.” He added that Randa’s daughter Mattilyn has recently gone to live with her biological father, in Ohio, who now has custody of the 10-year-old.

“Randa’s disappearance was kind of like a bomb going off in our family and we’ve never recovered. We’re starting to heal, as a family, and we’re coming around,” he said.

 Det. Ron Skarzynski of the Fenton Police Department has investigated her disappearance from the beginning. One person he would like to talk with is an unknown black male that drove Randa to a dental office in Flint before she went missing. No one knows what connection this unidentified man has with her, but Skarzynski still wants to talk with him.

 Since Randa often visited various social agencies in Flint, Skarzynski has distributed fliers with her photo and personal information hoping for leads. Her case is listed with all missing person organizations. He’s followed up on all of the tips over the years and has received about a half dozen calls in the past 12 months.

 The detective said Crime Stoppers is still offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. He added that Fenton police and Crime Stoppers are covering the cost to put up a billboard along I-69 in Flint.

 Jawhari, now 46, is described as a white female, brown hair, 5-feet, 1-inch tall and weighs approximately 100 pounds.  If anyone has any information about Jawhari’s disappearance, contact Skarzynski at (810) 629-5311. 

 For Anisse Jawhari, these past four years have been filled with frustration and agony. “There’s no sleeping until I know what happened to my daughter,” she said. “It’s a sad month for my family.” In addition to coping with Randa’s disappearance, the Jawharis are also coping with the death of Sam’s 17-year-old daughter Briona, who overdosed on heroin on Valentine’s Day 2011.

 Like other family members, Anisse is positive that someone, possibly someone from her apartment complex, knows something about Randa’s disappearance. “I forgive them,” she said adding that her daughter’s disappearance could be from an accident. “Just let me know what happened to my daughter. Somebody knows. She’s a person. She was here.”

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MAY 23, 2013 AT 9:24 PM

4,000 missing without trace in Mich.; families keep searching



Wherever Sharon Murray heads, she seeks her younger brother.


Randall Childs, 52, and his girlfriend, Karen Young, left their apartment on Detroit's west side one day in June 2011. Neither has been seen since.


Nearly two years after a missing person report was filed, and an investigation that has yielded few clues, "I look for his face — it doesn't matter where," Murray of Plymouth said. "It could be at a mall, a grocery store, the park. … I'm always scanning the crowd, looking for Randall."


Murray's story is among those from the nearly 4,000 missing people the FBI counts statewide on a list it has been maintaining nearly 40 years.


Their families desperately seek answers from police, even strangers, while other crimes — murders, break-ins, drug rings — grab headlines and the public's attention. The missing leave empty bedrooms, vacant work stations and unfilled seats at graduation dinners, birthday parties and family gatherings — and private heartache.


Even as the calendar changes and scant evidence emerges, relatives continue their quest: hanging posters, turning to social media, combing through abandoned houses and chasing any rumors or sightings.


"Their loved one is missing. They are frantic," said John Broad, president of Crime Stoppers of Michigan, which offers rewards for information on missing person cases. "They don't know what to do — they just know that they have to do something."


Emotions rise during events such as National Missing Children's Day, which is Saturday. And the void widens when focus shifts to newer and more publicized cases: the Norton Shores gas-station clerk who vanished last month and the rescue of the three women apparently held in a Cleveland house for years.


"My son — he's somebody's child, too," said Leitha Sims, whose son Derrell, 21, disappeared from Detroit in 2011. "He has people who love him. … It's upsetting but there's not much I can do but pray and try to keep my faith and my hope alive."


The FBI's National Crime Information Center listed 3,976 missing persons in Michigan as of May 13, compared to 3,015 in early 2012. Those figures do not name locations and are reported by authorities based on a number of criteria. The statistics have been compiled since the 1970s and include decades-old cases.


State and federal laws often guide how authorities issue notices for missing youth. And in some cases for medically vulnerable senior citizens, a Silver Alert can be issued.


But there are no state statutes that mandate police report on a voluntarily missing adult older than 21, said Det. Trooper Sarah Krebs of the Michigan State Police.


Each police agency has its own policy on handling missing persons reports; many typically are taken within 24-48 hours.


Kathy Wilson of Westland called police and filed a missing person report within hours of her daughter leaving home Feb. 11.


That morning, Christina Balog told her mother she felt nervous and "I need to go for a walk." She left without a phone or ID and has not returned.


Days earlier, Balog, 43, had been released from the Behavioral Center of Michigan in Warren, where she had been treated on and off for months.


She had never left home for long, and always kept in touch with Wilson or her 16-year-old son.


Officers combed a nearby park with a K-9 team as well as tracked her Medicare use but could not trace her, said Sgt. Norm Brooks of the Westland Police Department.


Relatives checked with her friends, "and for the whole week I called the hospital until they recognized our voices," Wilson said. The family made posters and placed information online.


As the months pass, they begin to fear the worse.


"What would make her not call to let us know that she's alright?" said her brother, Mark Wilson. "I have no idea unless someone is holding her against her will."


Some 'at-risk'


Missing persons cases generally fall into two categories: voluntary or involuntary, said Erick Barnes, a former police officer who directs the University of Detroit Mercy's Center for Cyber Security and Intelligence Studies.


The voluntarily missing often lack social anchors, Barnes said. "If you have family, friends, a job or something you're striving toward, those anchors tend to keep people who may be under stress from fleeing."


Once a person without those ties becomes overwhelmed from personal loss, health issues or major changes, he said, "the instinct to flee kicks in."


With that, "there are people that take off and don't want to be found," said Detroit Police Lt. Dale Greenleaf.


Some may already be "at-risk" for disappearing, said Cynthia Caron, president and founder of LostNMissing, a nonprofit that helps search for missing people nationwide.


Caron said these include people who have cognitive, mental or emotional disorders; use alcohol, drugs or engage in drug trafficking; have committed a crime; and "those who may 'choose' to go missing and step away from their present lives and sometimes due to emotional turmoil and/or the inability to cope with stress."


In March 2011, weeks after her 24th birthday, Bianca Chanel Green dropped off her son with relatives, and vanished.


The next day, Lisa Greene was alerted by her cousin, who saw a Facebook message from Green saying she planned on leaving.


In a series of texts, Green told her mother she was pregnant, "can't take it anymore" and planned to take a bus to the South. "She said she would call me when she got to her destination — and she never did," Greene said.


Greene obtained her daughter's credit union statement, which showed an Internet transaction in Georgia, but no later activity. She filed a missing persons report and moved her daughter's belongings into storage.


Investigators found few leads. The case is open, police said.


Families frustrated


Like other families looking for information on their loved ones' cases, Greene has turned to advocacy groups, including the Black & Missing Foundation.


Co-founder Natalie Wilson said she launched the nonprofit after the family of a missing black woman struggled to find media coverage of her case.


For some families, their perception is that the media or others do not extensively cover a missing minority's case because it might not interest their audiences, Wilson said, hindering investigations. "If the public is not aware this person is missing … how can someone come forward?"


Families voice other frustrations, too.


"I believe they're not looking for her because she has a record. Just like a nobody's gone missing. That's how I feel they feel about her," said Beatrice Dinwiddie, whose sister, Donna Hudson, a former felon, disappeared in Detroit last June. "But she's our sister and we still love her."


Yet even with focus and resources, leads can elude detectives and relatives.


'I just want to know'


Since Randa Jawhari vanished from suburban Flint on Feb. 11, 2009, police have pored over surveillance video, sought a person of interest, traced cellphone records, interviewed acquaintances and tracked tips from hundreds of calls, "but we still haven't come up with anything significant," Fenton Police Det. Ron Skarzynski said. A Facebook page and website also have been unproductive.


Meanwhile, relatives maintain mementos: shoes, clothing, a painted portrait.


"You just try to hold on to whatever you can," said her sister, Naheda Jawhari. "… But nothing is satisfying. … Nothing can replace a loved one."


The family of Detroiter Joe Hill, who vanished in 1981, still clings to his memory — and hope for closure.


"My heart is broken," sister Darlene Carter said. "It's going to be broken until he shows up or they find his remains. I'm not going to be right until that happens, period. Good or bad — I just want to know."

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Still searching for Randa
Seven years since Randa Jawhari disappeared



Authorites are hoping to identify a well-dressed African-American man who accompanied Jawhari to a dentist on multiple occasions in Flint before her disappearance. Based on information provided by dental office employees, a Michigan State Police artist put together a composite sketch of this man.

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 10:12 am
Tri-County Times | Fenton, MI Sharon Stone Editor

For seven frustrating years, family and friends of Randa Jawhari have wondered what happened to her.

Jawhari, then 42, of Fenton was last heard from at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. Her sister, Rocky Jawhari, spoke with her by phone.

Anisse Jawhari, Randa’s mother, telephoned Randa at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11; however, Randa did not answer the phone in her apartment, located at 3464 Shiawassee Avenue, ¼ mile east of U.S. 23. Anisse drove to Randa’s apartment at 8:30 a.m. to check on her and found the apartment empty.

There were no signs of struggle or foul play inside Randa’s apartment. She had multiple health issues, but family said Randa was feeling well at the time.

Since that cold winter day in 2009, Fenton police detectives have investigated Randa’s disappearance, however, they have had no credible leads. Crime Stoppers has assisted with the investigation, seeking any tips that could lead police to her whereabouts. They continue to offer a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to her whereabouts.

Aerial and ground searches were conducted. Billboards with Randa’s photo were put up along area highways, but even those did not result in any leads.

Crime Stoppers met with the Jawhari family and Fenton police on Monday, according to Fenton Police Chief Rick Aro. Following a tip, detectives recently interviewed an imprisoned man, however, they soon learned he was behind bars at the time of Randa’s disappearance.

Aro said they have followed up on tips, rumors and speculations, all with negative results. Police are also looking for a person of interest, an unknown black male, who was seen with her at a dental appointment before her disappearance. A composite drawing of him is shown with this story.

The police chief still believes someone knows what happened to Randa, adding that if that individual is incarcerated, they might use that knowledge as negotiating power in their own case. “Someone might speak,” Aro said.

On Tuesday, Sam Jawhari of Fenton, Randa’s brother said, “Our family loves our community and thanks everyone for their love and prayers. We hope for closure in what happened to Randa.”

If anyone has knowledge of Randa’s whereabouts, they are asked to call Fenton police at (810) 629-5311.

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Saturday Marks 8 Year Anniversary Of Fenton Woman's Mysterious Disappearance

February 10, 2017


While the strange disappearance of a Fenton woman eight years ago is technically a cold case, police and family members are holding onto hope.

Then 42-year-old Randa Jawhari vanished from her apartment complex on Shiawassee Avenue near US-23 on February 11th, 2009. Police were left with no signs of foul play or other clues as to where she may have gone. Randa, who had been diagnosed with mental illness, didn’t own a car, driver’s license or credit card. Fenton Police Chief Rick Aro tells WHMI his update is very similar to last year unfortunately but they continue to look at everything and follow up on every lead received. He says these cold cases can be very frustrating because they would like to get some closure for the family and find out what happened but there are some small pieces of information they need to make that happen and they just haven’t found them yet. While now considered a cold case, he says that doesn’t mean they’ve given up hope of solving it. He says Mr. Jawhari passed away but they still have contact with Mrs. Jawhari as well as Randa’s brother and sisters on a fairly regular basis. Aro says they will do everything they can to get the family some closure and he hopes it happens, noting they still receive tips from time to time, just not as many as in the beginning. Police have long said they believe there are one or two people out there who know something that could really open up the case and provide the tips they need to solve it. A person of interest was identified early on in the case, described as an associate of Jawhari’s who would transport her to different appointments. Detective Scott Townsend is in charge of the case and Aro says anyone with information can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. There is still a reward being offered and the information is passed along anonymously.


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