More than 15 years since Suzanne Lyall went missing off a UAlbany bus, a new initiative to get her picture and the pictures of other missing persons from the Capital Region – “Coasters for Hope.”
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy, Doug and Mary Lyall of their Center for Hope, and DeCrescente Distributing Company announced a new pilot program, “Coasters for Hope”, to help find Capital Region missing persons on Thursday.
Starting December 16th, more than 5,000 “Coasters for Hope” drink coasters featuring pictures and information about seven local missing persons will be printed and distributed by DeCrescente to restaurants and taverns across the Capital Region.
The public-private partnership to create and distribute drink coasters to help find missing persons is the first of its kind in the Northeast.
Each drink coaster will have a number where people can anonymously call or text a tip to law enforcement about a missing person’s case. A crucial tool in solving these cases is keeping information about missing persons in the public eye.
Just this year, three Cleveland women who had been missing for over 10 years were freed from captivity. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped outside her California home when she was 11 years-old in 1991 and didn’t escape captivity until 2009.
“To be in the dark about the fate of a loved one who has gone missing can lead families to a quiet desperation of anger, frustration and deep sadness. What we’ve seen time and again with missing persons cases is that there is always hope for answers and the possibility that a loved one, however improbable, could one day come home.
If someone sees one of these Coasters for Hope at their neighborhood restaurant or tavern then they may know something that could help solve a missing persons case,” said Tedisco.
“A family left behind when their loved one vanishes without explanation faces unrelenting uncertainty about the circumstances. Not knowing is against human nature and ‘Coasters for HOPE’ will provide an opportunity to provide answers that are desperately needed,” said Mary Lyall of the Center for Hope, whose daughter Suzanne Lyall, a UAlbany student, has been missing since 1998.
“DeCrescente is proud to sponsor the ‘Coasters for Hope’ Program. By providing these coasters as a visible resource to raise awareness in our communities about missing persons, together with our retail partners, we hope to help ease the pain and uncertainty for families dealing with the disappearance of a loved one,” said C.J. DeCrescente, President of DeCrescente Distributing Company.
FACES OF MISSING
Coasters will be distributed by DeCrescente to Capital Region restaurants and taverns (see attached list) featuring information about the following Capital Region missing persons:
1. Suzanne Lyall of Ballston Spa, a 19-year-old UAlbany student missing since 1998
2. Ashley Carroll, age 24, of Troy, missing since 2010.
3. Craig Frear, age 17, of Scotia, missing since 2004.
4. Karen Wilson, age 22, a UAlbany student missing since 1985.
5. Lutricia Steele, age 27, of Schenectady, missing since 2008.
6. Peter Lorang, age 29, of Charlton, missing since 2001.
7. Tammie McCormick, age 14, of Saratoga Springs, missing since 1986.
To submit an anonymous tip about these or any other missing persons case, call 1-800-448-3847; text NYMISSING (+Tip) to 274637; or visit www.troopers.ny.gov and click on CrimeTip Link.
Tedisco is a long-time advocate on issues related to missing children and sponsors with Doug and Mary Lyall the annual New York State Missing Persons Day commemoration held in Albany. With former Governor Mario Cuomo, Tedisco helped make New York the first state in the nation to put the pictures of missing persons on Thruway Toll tickets. As Chair of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Missing Children, Tedisco helped pass non-custodial release legislation to protect children from being abducted. Following years of research, legislation and statewide public hearings, he authored a book in 1996 entitled, “Missing Children: A psychological approach to understanding the causes and consequences of stranger and non-stranger abduction of children.”
In 2001, the Lyalls established the Center for Hope with the idea of providing assistance to others affected by a similar loss. The Center for Hope, Inc. is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization with the mission of providing resources to educate, assist and support families and friends coping with the pain and uncertainty surrounding the disappearance of a loved one. For more information, visit www.hope4themissing.org.
PRELIMINARY LIST PARTICIPATING
1. The End Zone
2. Tin N Lint
4. The Rusty Nail
5. The Mill
8. Angelo’s Prime Bar & Grill in Clifton Park
9. Parting Glass
10. City Tavern
13. Clinton’s Ditch in Schenectady
14. Peddlers Bar & Bistro in Clifton Park
15. LTs Grill in Niskayuna
17. J&A Prep Kitchen
18. Wolf’s 111
19. Pizzeria Uno at Crossgates Mall
20. The Standard
21. Dave & Buster’s at Crossgates Mall
22. Washington Tavern
23. Pub 869
26. Recovery Room Albany
27. Recovery Room Colonie
28. Across The Street Pub
30. Prof M Barley’s