Layton-based nonprofit helps find missing personsJan 30, 2023 01:23PM ● By Peri Kinder
We Help the Missing is a nonprofit based in Layton dedicated to helping find missing persons while supporting their families. Image courtesy of We Help the Missing
Thousands of people in the U.S. go missing every year. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System database states nearly 600,000 people are declared missing each year.
Most of those cases are resolved quickly, with people found alive and well, but for many families, the mystery behind their loved one’s disappearance can extend to days, months or even decades.
Layton resident Marki Davis founded We Help the Missing in 2014 as a resource for families to help find missing persons. As a private investigator with a background in criminal justice, Davis has dedicated her time and resources to getting answers for families.
“I felt like we could come together and do advocacy and investigation and put it all together in a package. I felt family support was lacking so I got some volunteers and just started,” Davis said. “Some missing persons were found, unfortunately, deceased, some came home on their own and some were found. A large number are still missing.”
There are many reasons a person goes missing. It could be a fight with a family member, financial trouble, trauma, trafficking or abuse, or it could be an accident that left a person unable to reach out to family members.
Davis’s organization partners with Road Warriors for the Missing as a rapid response team that gets volunteers to the area where the person went missing. The volunteers canvas the area, put up posters, post on social media and report back to investigators.
“We stay with the family and let them know we care,” Davis said. “We let them know we’re getting the name out there and investigating and keeping the case active. A lot of times, sadly, law enforcement is not engaged.”
We Help the Missing has worked on cases where people have been missing for days or decades and Davis said every case is unique and traumatic for family members. Missing persons are often found through the implementation of social media campaigns and through a network of investigators across the state.
Davis also admits that some missing people don’t want to be found.
“If they’re of age, we have to respect their privacy. We report back to the family and tell them they’re alive but they just don’t want to communicate right now.”
We Help the Missing is a nonprofit corporation that takes no fee for its services. It operates through donations, volunteer work and private investigators who often work pro bono. Davis understands that having a loved one missing for any amount of time is overwhelming and terrifying. Part of her services includes support for the family and continual updates as volunteers search for the missing.
For those who have information about a missing person, We Help the Missing has an anonymous tip line at 1-866-660-4025. Call 435-671-8100 or visit WeHelpTheMissing.org for information about the organization. Investigators who would like to donate services can also reach out to Davis.
To enlist assistance from We Help the Missing, visit the website to fill out an intake form and upload a photo of the missing person. The organization will create a poster, reach out to an investigator and spread the info across its social media channels.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Davis said. “It’s the best feeling in the world to get them home and get them safe.”