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18 Wheel Angels Program News for Families and Advocates

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Good Day,

Project Jason is pleased to announce an increase in monthly campaigns on our awareness program, the 18 Wheel Angels. Previously, two campaigns per month were featured on our website at  Beginning on November 1, 2007, we increased this to 4 campaigns per month.

18 Wheel Angels is a poster dissemination campaign aimed at truck drivers, who are natural networkers. We also encourage business travelers and the general public to come to the website, download, print, and display these posters in local businesses. A special poster is made for each selected person on the campaign. An example of these posters can be found at the website and below my signature in this message. (This is not a poster displayed on trucks. It is a print and place campaign.)

All missing persons who have been featured on the campaign will have their poster available to download on the 18 Wheel Angels page on our website until they are found.

In addition to the campaign, the selected missing person's information and photo is also featured in a trucking publication called Through the Gears. This free magazine is distributed in truck stops nationwide and has a circulation of about 150,000. The selected missing persons' information will also be on the website under Missing Persons. Depending upon available space, some families may have a short story about the missing person published in the magazine in addition to the photo(s) and basic data.

Through the Gears is one of Target Media Partner's many publications. In partnership with Project Jason, they will now feature four missing persons per month.Two will be presented in Through the Gears, and the other two will be in the magazine Independent Contractor. (You can pick up your free copies at a local truck stop, but if it's far from you, you may want to call and ask if they carry that magazine. These are NOT with the regular for purchase magazines.)

What does this mean to you as a family member of a missing person?

The 18 Wheel Angels program is a great opportunity for awareness for your missing loved one. If he/she has never been featured on the campaign before, you can ask to be on the waiting list for the campaign. As with all of our programs, there is no cost to you. We develop the poster, upload it, submit it to our trucking industry partners and will also do a press release to the media in the area of the disappearance if you'd like. We have been told by several of the families whose loved ones were featured on the campaign that leads were generated from it.

What does this mean to you as an organization providing assistance to family members of missing persons?

The 18 Wheel Angels campaign can be another way you can help your families with awareness. We do need permission directly from the family to run their missing loved one on the campaign, so feel free to refer those qualified cases to us for assistance. Since we have more missing adult cases than child cases, we'd like to get some referrals from families of missing children as well. You can also forward this message to the families you serve.

Excluded case types:  (This is due to the targeted nature of the campaign and in working with publishing deadlines for the magazines, which run a month or more in advance.)

Persons missing in a natural disaster, in a wilderness area, or in a body of water

Persons declared by a court of law or a law enforcement agency to be deceased

Repeat runaways, unless they have been missing for more than 6 months and their whereabouts are not known 

Check here to see if your missing loved one has already been featured:

If you have not registered your missing loved one with Project Jason before, please do so here:

To see all of Project Jason's benefits and services, please click here:

Statistics show that one in every 6 missing persons is located because of a visual aid, such as a poster. The 18 Wheel Angels campaign is one way to increase awareness, and hopefully, bring someone loved and missed back home.

With Hope for all of our missing loved ones,

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski

President and Founder,

Project Jason

Read our Voice for the Missing Blog

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The following posts contain stories written by the family members specifically for the campaign. These stories will give family members whose cases have been accepted for a future campaign an idea what we are looking for in the written story.

Missing Allison

My Sister My Friend, Where Have You Gone?

On July 30th 2006 my entire family’s world was turned upside down and changed forever. It was on that night at Junction Pub and Billiards located on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington NC that my sister Allison Jackson Foy disappeared. Allison was last seen in the parking lot of that establishment at about 2am and has never been seen or heard from again. Allison was only 34 years of age at the time she went missing and had her whole life ahead of her.

Allison had just started a new job as the assistant manager of the Holiday Inn on Market Street, and was meeting a friend after her shift for drinks at the pub. Her friend says that that he had the bartender call her a cab, and moments later the driver walked in and she left with him to go home. Others claim that she was seen in the parking lot of that establishment in another vehicle. Nothing is clear, or known for sure that she seems to have vanished off the face of the earth without a trace, and that her vehicle was found at the pub a few days after she had been reported missing.

Now almost seventeen months after her disappearance we are almost right back where we started. Someone out there knows something and my family and I continue to beg and plead anyone with any information at all to come forward and help us to end this nightmare.

Allison is not only a sister, but a daughter, an Aunt, a friend and most importantly a mother of two beautiful young daughters who miss her and need and want her back desperately. Imagine growing up not knowing where your mother is or what happened to her, and not knowing whether or not she is even still living. Her daughters deserve answers, they deserve their mother.

I know that I have cried myself to sleep many nights feeling like there is something more that I need to be doing. The day to day frustrations of not living in North Carolina, (the state Allison is missing from) the overwhelming feelings of guilt and pain and complete uselessness. I am riding an emotional rollercoaster, a ride which seems to have no end. I travel to Wilmington as much as possible, but I too have a family and young children back in NJ that need me. Every time I leave Wilmington NC I feel as if I am leaving a part of my heart (my sister Allison) there.

When I think of Allison I can hear her contagious laughter and her big bright smile. Allison had a true love of life and as one of her close friends has said “she danced to the beat of her own drum”. Allison is easy to talk to and easy to be yourself around, she had a way of making you feel good about yourself. Allison is not only a great sister to me, but a great mother, and her children are her life. That is why I know that something happened, that she did not just walk away from her life and her children that night.

I try to remain hopeful, and remember all the good times, like June of 2006 when she came to my house in NJ for a week with her daughter, a month before she disappeared. We spent the week together eating and cooking and taking our kids strawberry picking and to the Crayola factory. Allison and I had a sister’s night out where we laughed and laughed and shared our hearts with each other. Allison cooked on my barbeque her famous shrimp for me and my friends who had come to meet her. Many of those friends commented on how easy she was to approach and how it seemed as if they had known her for a long time; that was Allison at her best.

When she left at the end of that week it was sad, because I knew I would miss her, but I did not ever think that it may be the last time I would ever see her again. I miss my sister, and my heart is missing a huge piece and has been ever since her disappearance. Her children and family and friends, we all need answers we all need to know what happened and where she is. Allison like all of the missing deserves to be found.

I implore any and all of you truckers out there to please talk about my sister Allison and tell her story. Please keep your eyes out for her along your travels, and please if you can post her picture on your truck and share it with other truckers and post it in any truck stops you visit. Believe me when I say that you will be doing so much for Allison, her daughters and my family. My family and I and Allison’s daughters need your help, we are depending on the kindness of strangers.

Please check out Allison’s website if you can:  If you do have information pertaining to Allison’s case you can also contact CUE Center for Missing Persons at (910) 232-1687 or the Wilmington Police Dept. at (910) 343-3609 and speak with Detective Mike Overton.

Thank you for listening to my sister Allison’s story and thank you in advance for keeping your eyes and ears open and alert and for posting her picture if you can. You all will be doing more than you know, and living as true angels in our midst. Please pray for Allison, her daughters and her family as well as all the missing and their families.

Life can change on a dime, and all of us never know what tomorrow brings. God bless you all and your families and may He keep you safe as you travel.

Lisa Valentino

Sister Of Allison Jackson Foy Missing since July 30th 2006 from Wilmington NC

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Breaker One-Nine Desperate Mom Needs Your Help

Calling all truckers from Bean Town to Shaky Town and everything in between.  If youre reading this now, Bubba, let me say, Thanks!  Professional truckers hold a special place in my heart because my son  now missing for nearly three years  was a 4-wheeler road warrior, making frequent trips for business.  I always told him to honor the guardians of the highways and give those 18-wheel angels the road, for they were the ones who would come to his aid when in trouble.  Hed say OK, Mom, I know.  This is Bad Monkey and Im back out and then hed break into his road trip anthem, sung to the tune of On the Road Again.  Eatin toads again, just cant wait to be eatin toads again, love those crunchy, slimy green amphibians, just cant wait to be eatin toads again.  Id crack up with laughter and the anxiety of another road trip would start to fade away.  Bad Monkey knew just how to calm me down, and ease his Moms worry.

This quick-witted, fun-loving man always brought laughter and light into my life . . . until that day in December 2004 when he just went poof and disappeared.  So today, and every day that one of you share the road with me, I feel grateful for your presence, and for bringing memories of my son to mind.  With teary eyes, I think of Benj and start to hum, Eatin toads again  Theres nothing like the road for quiet reflection, and these memories, for now, are all I have of my wonderful son.

My son is 38 years old today, (Ahren Benjamin Barnard, born 10-20-69, known to many as Ahren/sounds like Aaron).  I call him Benjy or Benj.  Benjy has been missing from Boise, ID since December 4, 2004. When he was growing up, our family consisted of just the two of usMom & little boy.  Benjy and I were very close.  We didnt get to see each other as often as we wanted in recent years, as he lives in Boise, and I live in Portland, OR, so to stay in touch we talked several times a week on the phone, sometimes daily.  We not only loved each other, we liked one another, and we always had great fun together. 

Today he has two beautiful children: a daughter who is 10, and a son who is six; and he has friends in all walks of life.  Not a day goes by, in fact, not a moment passes, when he is not in my thoughts.  Sometimes they are happy memories, but more often they are desperate, lonely, and fearful thoughts.  I dont believe for one second that this loving father and dutiful son would have disappeared on his own.  It would be too unlike him to do so, and no one knows of any reason why he would.  What happened to him?  Where is he?  Dear God, when will someone come forward and tell what they know?

If anyone knows what its like to miss a loved one, to be apart on birthdays and holidays, I think it would be you, the truck drivers of our nation.  If I could, Id put out a ten thirty-three to the world every single day. 

The absence of answers is like a painful death in slow motion.  The anxiety eats at me from the inside of my very soul, numbing me into nonexistence , and I fear that one day there will be nothing left for it to feed on.  For me personally, it has been very difficult to get attention from the local, regional, or national press about Benjy.  It feels to me as if the disappearance of my son, a healthy adult male, is somehow less important than the disappearance of a child or an elder or a pretty young woman.  Each of the missing has mothers, families, and concerned friendseach of the missing should receive equal support and attention until found.   

I need your help.  I need you.  You were my sons guardian angels when I knew where he was on the freeways, and so I turn to you again to ask for your help in finding him now.  Please use your office-on-wheels to help me find my son.  Any of the actions below would help, or maybe you have another idea?  Share it with me and I will try to do it. 

    Please keep his picture in your cab for at least a little while

    Oftentimes the smallest tidbit might be what breaks the case, so please report anything you hear or know (Boise Police, Sgt. Mark Barnett, 208-373-5401)

    Visit Benjys website at for more details and share his story widely

    Talk about him to your trucker buddies, keep a watchful eye out

    Print his 18 Wheel Angel flyer or flyers from his website and post them at your stops along the road (or email me and Ill mail you some posters to distribute)

    Tell his story on Channel 19, along the road, and to your friends and family

    Remember ALL of the missingeven the healthy adult men; their familiesespecially we single momscould use your help.

May God bless you all and keep you safe in your travels.  This is the mother of Bad Monkey saying preeshaydit for your good hearts and for your help.

Vicki Barnard

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Shelva Rafte

By Janelle, Shelvas Daughter

That would never happen to us is a common phrase when people see bad things happening to other people.  You feel almost invisible from any harm until something does go wrong.  Life was going on as normal for everyone in our family.  We had all pulled together to plan a graduation party to remember for me.  My mom was in charge of the meatballs and rolls and she was going to arrive early to finish the decorating.  The day was perfect. It was Memorial Day weekend, 95 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky.  There were smiles on everyone who attended.  Now that day seems to be such a nightmare.

I remember the phone call like it was yesterday.  It was around 11:30 PM, May 29th.  My aunts were calling me on a conference call to say that no one had been able to reach my mom all day and that they were concerned.  It was normal to not reach my mom the second you called her, but for some reason I felt compelled to drive 45 minutes to Pittston.  I called 911 on the PA turnpike and told them I needed an officer to meet me on Cleveland Street in Pittston, Pa just in case.  I arrived just around 12:30 AM to see the cops sitting on the front porch.  They had already looked through her apartment and there was no sign of her.  Things were left as if she hadnt been home all day.  The only other place she could have possibly been was at her boyfriends home on Market Street in Pittston. He hadnt seen her since 1:00 AM that morning after they had left my graduation party.  The rest of the night was a crucial search alone until 4:00 AM.  The search was on.

There wasnt a wink of sleep that night or for many nights after that.  We had foot searches, flyers, meetings with the CIU and the State Police and the FBI, dog searches, helicopters, ATVs, and boats in the river.  Nothing was found. 

The facts and evidence were slim to none.  All we knew was that my mother was last seen leaving my graduation party at around 10:30 PM on May 28th with her boyfriend and she has not been seen since.

The boyfriend states that they had a fight and she left his house to walk home at around 1:00 AM in the morning.  The police do not have any evidence to the contrary.  Her house was left with the TV on, the doors locked, and her car in the driveway, just as it was left when she came to my party.

It has been over a year since her disappearance and there is still nothing to go on.  We have been on the news, put up flyers, increased the reward, and yet nothing has come through.

My mom was last seen wearing powder blue capris with rhinestones on the back and a powder blue t-shirt.

Everyday when I wake up I am thinking about her, and every night I dream of her.  And I am not the only one.  I have three brothers who are 20, 15, and 11.  We need our mom.  All we want is closure so we know if she is dead or alive.  She is still out there and someone knows something.  Its now about reaching as many people as we can and doing it quickly.

My mother worked at Scott 60 Truck Stop for many years.  Scott 60 is located on I-81 in Scott, Pa.  She was a waitress there and got to know many of the truck drivers pretty well.  In fact, many people have recognized her and have asked me if she used to work there.  One strong theory that my family believes is that her disappearance may have occurred very close to the Pilot truck stop in Pittston, Pa. We believe that it is very possible that she may have had someone pick her up that could be driving out of state.  I dont think that this possibility is a long shot. I believe that someday, putting her posters in truck stops may actually lead to finding her.  My family actually owns a small business in delivering stone across the United States.  We have already begin putting them up at truck stops with our own drivers, however, we would never be able to reach as many as we would if we had volunteers from the 18 Wheel Angels to help us get the word out.  Any help we would receive would be greatly appreciated.

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Dear Eighteen Wheel Angels,

Your great acts of kindness to carry across our nation’s highways the plight of families with missing loved ones gives renewed hope to broken hearts and weary minds.  Suffering families work tirelessly and desperately with the help of friends and neighbors to search for one we love and bring answers to questions that torment the minds and spirits of loving families.  Continuously, we worry about many unanswered questions.  Where is he?  Is he hungry?  Is he sick or in trouble?  Does he need help?  Like many, I painfully ponder these and other fearful questions hourly.

My only son, Michael “Austin” Davis disappeared from his sister’s home in Jacksonville Florida on June 26, 2007.  Austin is 26 years old and has always been close to family.  His disappearance is completely out of character.  Austin is a computer tech who loved his job and often offered his skills and time to others more challenged by technology. 

Austin, although not large in stature (5’8”; 170 lbs.), is huge in character.  His pale blue eyes and dimpled smile reflect a charm and goodness uncommon to many.  Austin’s pleasures are simple.  He’d rather fish and enjoy the sounds of nature than attend a concert.    He’s rather play cards, watch a football game (FSU fan) or shoot pool with close friends and family than party with a crowd.  Austin is soft spoken, reserved and respectful but never meets a stranger.  He’s polite and conscious of the feelings of others but full of satire and wit.  We miss him greatly. 

We have searched without success, North Florida and beyond.  With your help, we can multiply our efforts, extend our search and recruit the help of others nationwide.  Without your support and kindness this would not be possible.  Our hope to find our missing loved one and strength to carry on is bolstered greatly by the knowledge that you will carry our torch from coast to coast.  We could never do this without the goodness of the Eighteen Wheel Angels.

May God honor your kindness and bless you, both on the road and at home.

With much gratitude I am,

Austin’s Dad

Jim Davis

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Brian’s Story

By Barbara Sullivan, Brian’s Mother

July 8th, 2007 was a beautiful day. My husband was cooking ribs on the grill, one of Brian's favorites. I was starting to think I should give him a call. He had recently bought a car and had not returned from the evening before. I thought he was at a friend’s house and then spent the night.

An officer from the Monroe County Sheriff pulled up at our house, and that is when my family’s nightmare began. He asked for Brian, and then informed us that Brian's car had been found on a dead end street which is surrounded by 125 aces of woods. Nothing was out of place. He said they were not going to tow it because maybe he went with someone and was coming back for it. I called him on his phone and it went straight to voice mail. I went to see the car and because I did not yet get a key, I was unable to get into it. His cash card, phone charger, and wallet were on the seat. My husband and I decided to leave it there hoping he would come back for it. He never did come back to it. The next day we towed it.

We still thought maybe he had just taken off for a couple of days. He never had before, but he is19. He was undecided about returning to the community college he had been attending and was possibly going to look out of state. We had been discussing that he should either sign up for school or get a job.

My family had conducted a couple of searches on their own and then at our insistence that something was not right, the police did 2 searches. They then reported Brian as missing and started getting ready for a big search with horses, dogs, army national guard, swat, police, atv's, and helicopters. They did not even pick up a scent.

Since then we have handed out flyers with the help of the community and some local trucking companies. We have sent flyers to friends and family out of state. When ever I hear of someone traveling, I ask them to take some. These are at the Canadian and American borders and some thruway booths. We have him listed on many missing persons’ websites. We have created a MySpace account for him and have used that to keep the message out. Recently, we offered a reward. We have tried to keep it in the news every 3 to 4 weeks.

I have not slept for more than 2 hours at a time since this began. One minute I feel like he’s O.K., then a wave of nausea hits me thinking he would never just not call me. My daughter who is 21, newly married, and pregnant with a husband deployed, needs her baby brother. He was excited about Brittney being pregnant and becoming an uncle. My husband who is disabled to begin with has aged 20 yrs both physically and mentally. His friends and extended family are also hurting. Life just isn’t the same with out him here. We do believe that some one knows what happened or where our Brian is.

I am asking the 18 Wheel Angels for help. We could never begin to reach the amount of people you can and I think timing is of the essence. My family and I appreciate all the help you can. You truly are angels.

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John Spira’s Story

By Stephanie McNeil, John’s sister

I had just seen my brother John 9 days before “the call” when he came out to Phoenix from Chicago to be with my mom during her cancer surgery.  We were looking forward to seeing each other again in just a few more days because he’d been planning on coming out for my birthday when he was going to play with a favorite band of mine.  We’d been planning it for months and we were both excited about his visit.  He was scheduled to arrive on February 28th and I was getting ready to call him to get his flight information.

Instead, on Sunday, February 25th around noon, my whole world turned upside down when my dad called and said, “Steph, I have some disconcerting news; it seems John’s been missing since Friday night”.  The rest of the conversation is a blur as I sat on my stairs shaking and crying, feeling that something terrible had happened to my sweet brother. So, instead of John flying to Phoenix on the 28th, I left for Chicago on that day and spent the next two weeks there searching for John.  Since that horrible day it’s been difficult to focus on anything but finding John.

The pertinent facts as we now know them are these:  He was last seen at the business he co-owned with his business partner, Universal Cable Construction Company, in West Chicago, IL.  John’s business partner was the last to see John sitting at his desk around 7:15 p.m. at which time his partner left the office.  At 7:09 p.m. John made a cell phone call to a friend whom he was to meet for dinner in Oakbrook at 8:30 p.m.  Oakbrook is about a thirty to forty minute drive from his office so he would have had to leave no later than 8:00 p.m.  John never made it to dinner and his truck remained parked at the office.  John’s cell phone continued to ping off two nearby cell towers until 11:00 p.m. that night.  John’s girlfriend had been frantically trying to call him becoming very worried when he uncharacteristically did not return her calls.  The next night, John, also a well known blues musician, failed to show for a scheduled performance, a first for John in the thirty years he’s been playing. Early Sunday morning the police searched John’s business but there was no sign of John or foul play.  An employee reported at the time that a piece of heavy duty plastic sheeting was missing from the office. 

We have done several searches in the area to no avail. We have been on the news and continue talking to the police.  We still put up missing poster signs and on September 14, 2007, we placed a very large missing poster sign across from John’s office but 48 hours later the sign was completely gone and John’s building burned down.  The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Our family believes somehow these events are related to John’s disappearance.

The only thing we can do at this point is try to keep his face out there so people don’t forget.  Unfortunately that’s easier said than done.  Though we believe John’s story has gotten more media attention than most missing men, for which we are grateful, the fact is the media isn’t interested in missing men.  It seems that when a man goes missing his character becomes a factor and the questions are always “was he under a lot of stress?, was he into drugs/drinking?, who did he hang out with?, maybe he just took off?”  It’s been an uphill battle trying to convince people that John would not have left voluntarily. He is not into drugs or drinking and is a good man.

We continue to search for John.  Someone out there knows something and we would just ask that person or persons to please let us know where John is so our family and friends can get the closure we need to continue with our lives.  For those who would like more information, we have created a website at  Thank you.

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Here's a testimony from one of the family members whose son was featured on a recent campaign. It shows that the program works. Even though this sighting did not end up being her son, we can see from this that people are paying attention to the faces of our missing loved ones and placing posters.

"A few days ago my cell phone rang in the middle of the night, and it was a call from a truck driver who had stopped at a truck stop in Marianna Florida (about 3 hr drive from where my son went missing), and he saw a man and an underage young woman trying to get someone to buy them a meal.  The truck driver went on in, and he saw a flier of my son that had been placed there, and thought that the man he'd just seen could possibly be Austin.  He then called the appropriate Sheriffs office, and then called Austin's dad and myself.

As it turned out that was not my son, but I was amazed and thankful for the diligence this man showed, and was so thankful for the 18 Wheel Angels program that allowed my son's flier to be in that truck stop.  Though that man and young girl was not my son or daughter, they are someone's and it's possible because of this man's phone calls that they found their way home.

I just wanted to share this, and say Thank You Kelly for all that you have done and continue to do to help the Missing!


~Austin's Mom"

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