JFF has selected partners who support our work on behalf of families with missing adults.
About Project Jason
Project Jason is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, and was established on October 6, 2003. Our organization primarily focuses on case assessment, resources, and support for families of the missing. We are not an investigative agency, nor do we perform searches. We offer services we are trained to provide. Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski, handles all interactions with family members, and has over 100 hours of professional training in various aspects of missing persons, including emotional support, DNA, support tools, databases and related matters, case management, media interaction, and more. Project Jason is also a member of AMECO, the Association of Missing and Exploited Children’s Organizations, Inc., which ensures the member organizations are credible, ethical, and effective nonprofits.
About the Founder and President of Project Jason, Kelly Jolkowski
Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of Project Jason, is one of the foremost experts in the field of missing persons in the United States. She is one of the few non-law enforcement people trained at the criminal justice program at the premier college specializing in missing persons and has more than 100 hours of professional training on missing persons from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The U.S. Department of Justice and Fox Valley Technical College.
She has been a speaker at events for National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, at the National Sex Offender Management Conference, Fox Valley’s Uniting in the Search for the Missing, and the National Candlelight Vigil. She taught Project Jason's course on DNA and Missing Persons at the 2008 Cue Center Conference.
She frequently lectures about missing persons issues, law enforcement and missing persons, and the science of DNA and its benefits to finding missing persons.
She is also called to speak about laws affecting missing persons because of her leadership of Campaign for the Missing, which mandates how missing and unidentified persons are handled. It has been passed in eight states so far. She also speaks about her steerage of Jason’s Law, which mandated the creation of the Nebraska State Missing Person’s Clearinghouse.
In 2009, she was the recipient of the Keeper of the Flame award, given annually to law enforcement, business leaders, organizations, search personnel and/or volunteers who have risen above their daily duties in the field of missing persons and service to victims of homicide; persons who have shown great empathy and brought forth action for the cause. She has appeared on the Montel Williams Show, Fox National Dayside News, numerous national and international radio shows, and in USA Today.
In April of 2010, the U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) named Kelly Jolkowski as the Volunteer for Victims Honoree. The announcement came at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony held in Washington, DC. The awards, given by US Attorney General Eric Holder, are part of the OVC’s National Crime Victims Rights Week. Kelly was one of eight people honored by the U.S. Justice Department for their work assisting victims of crime.
She has developed several unique awareness programs to help locate the missing, including the 18 Wheel Angels, Awareness Angels Network, and Come Home. In addition, Kelly works daily with families of the missing nationwide through Project Jason and also with TEAM Hope, a branch of NCMEC.
The first retreat for families of the missing, Keys to Healing, was held in June of 2009. Kelly spent more than a year in development of the event, which is designed to give families of the missing the tools they need to take care of themselves emotionally and physically as they continue their searches. The retreat is now an annual event.
Kelly’s work on behalf of families of the missing began in 2001 after her 19-year-old son, Jason, disappeared. At the time of his disappearance, Kelly and her husband Jim did not know where they could turn for assistance when Jason disappeared. There were many things that, had they known back then, they would have done differently to more quickly and effectively search in the hours and days that followed. And they could have used a sympathetic ear.
After their experience, they determined that where there are other families in such need, they would be there for them. To do so, they founded the nonprofit Project Jason, Assistance for Families of the Missing.
While her ultimate goal is to be able to work for Project Jason full time in order to serve more families of the missing, Jolkowski serves Project Jason in the hours surrounding her full time job. The efforts to find her son continue on as a regular, although not normal, part of her life
P.O Box 3035
Omaha, NE 68103
Project Jason seeks to bring hope and assistance to families of the missing by providing resources and support.
The Center for Hope, Inc. and Surviving Parents Coalition
Doug and Mary Lyall, parents of Suzanne Lyall, missing since 1998
20 Prospect Street, Suite 103 Chocolate Factory, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
email@example.com, Telephone: 518-884-8761
Surviving Parents Coalition. firstname.lastname@example.org
MARY AND DOUG LYALL The Center for Hope
Mary and Doug Lyall and Suzanne Lyall
Mary and Doug Lyall are the parents of Suzanne who was last seen Monday, March 2, 1998 at 9:45PM exiting a CDTA bus at Collins Circle, on the University at Albany Uptown Campus. Suzanne was a sophomore at the University of Albany. Since that fateful day when Suzanne disappeared Mary and Doug have worked tirelessly in search for their daughter and in service to other families suffering similarly. They established the Center for Hope and have accomplished a great deal in honor of Suzanne.
The Center for Hope, Inc. is a not for profit organization with the mission of providing resources to educate, assist and support families and friends to cope with the pain and uncertainty surrounding the ambiguous loss of a loved one; to reflect, remember, and to join with others in recognizing and honoring all missing persons. As such, Mary and Doug were committed to creating a memorial in honor of all missing persons. They succeeded in having a beautiful tribute created in Albany, New York that features an eternal flame signifying the light guiding loved ones home. In addition, in 2003 they successfully passed federal legislation, Suzanne's Law, that requires police to notify the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when someone between 18 and 21 is reported missing, as part of the national "Amber Alert" bill. Mary and Doug were also instrumental in creating the New York State Campus Safety Act which passed on a federal level in 2008. They also created the Assault and Abduction Free School Zone Bill, a computerized system to report information about missing persons to all toll booths and rest stops on the New York Thruway, a mandate to profile missing persons on the New York State Income Tax forms, and a proclamation declaring April 6th Missing Person's Day in New York. Mary and Doug also helped establish a partnership with The Nation's Missing Children Organization and Center for Missing Adults. They also worked with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice to develop the "Investigative Guide for Missing College Students." Throughout all of their efforts, Mary and Doug remain hopeful that someone, someday will come forward with information that will lead them to Suzanne.
Learn more about Suzanne’s Law in HELP section.
On October 22, 1989, 11-year old Jacob Wetterling was abducted from a group of three boys by a masked gunman. To date, he has never been found and his case remains open. In the flash of precious moments, an unthinkable act occurred that has left an indelible scar on the hearts and minds of Jacob’s family, friends and the community.
Many of those same people, including Jacob’s parents, decided to turn their anger, sadness and fear into a groundswell of action to protect other children. In 1990, Jacob Wetterling Foundation was formed by Jerry & Patty Wetterling along with many committed members in the community. Their mission was to educate the public about WHO takes children, HOW they do it and WHAT each of us can do to stop it. They turned their pain into action to help innocent children.
Today, people often remark, “I know where I was when Jacob was taken. I remember what I was doing or wearing. I remember how it made me feel. I’ve never stopped wondering what happened to that little boy.” ”That defining moment in time continues to impact people throughout Minnesota, Jacob’s home state, and in nearly every corner of the world.
Since 1989, many things have changed within our families, community and the world at large. First, came the fax machine, then the Internet, cell phones, two-parent working families and eventually camera phones and iPods. It’s no longer a “Father Knows Best or Donna Reed Show” society where there’s always a happy ending. Over time, our society has become highly sexualized in what we watch on television, play in video games, see in the media or witness during all types of daily entertainment or interactions.
The public began to ask for laws that would help supervise and rehabilitate convicted sex offenders, so JWF responded by advocating to pass Jacob’s Law in Minnesota and throughout the United States. The public needed a missing child emergency response system, so JWF responded, helping to launch the A.M.B.E.R. Plan in Minnesota and at a national level, used in the most severe cases of missing children.
Yet some of the difficult changes in the world also brought “new possibilities” that could help reduce the number of children and teens who are abducted or go missing. With the onset of the Internet, mass communications became almost instantaneous when a child went missing….the Internet also brought greater access to child pornography which made it a double-edged sword.
Sometimes children or teens go missing at the hands of non-family members, sometimes at the hand of family members and sometimes they run away from abusive homes to land on the streets where they become prey for those who seek to exploit them. Sometimes they are “thrown away” by those who no longer care about them. Even worse, kids are sometimes “trafficked” for profit or personal gain into things like prostitution, pornography or for the sadistic pleasure of gangs or others who wish to exploit their innocence.
The dramatic changes in our families, communities and the world require new “Tips, Tools & Resources” to combat these unthinkable acts on innocent children. So to honor Jacob’s legacy and to respond to the public’s outcry, Jacob Wetterling Foundation became Jacob Wetterling Resource Center in September 2008 and launched a new web site to arm the public with the tools they need to help build safer communities for our children and teens.
The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center merged with the National Child Protection Training Center in February 2010. The move is an effort to combine the groups' resources and strengthen their common efforts to ensure every child grows up in a healthy, safe world free from abuse, exploitation and abduction.
CUE Center for Missing Persons- Providing Search Resources Nationwide.
Post Office Box 12714
Wilmington, North Carolina 28405
(910) 343-1131 / (910) 232-1687
“Rallying search parties quickly is an important capability in an arena where time may mean the difference between life and death. CUE members said the organization exists in part to bridge a gap between families and law enforcement. The latter, constrained by increasingly tight budgets and finite manpower, are sometimes unable to muster resources that families believe their cases deserve.
The volume of missing persons reports filed each year is staggering. In 2010, 85,820 people were reported missing nationwide, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But law enforcement officials say a vast majority of those involve people skipping town voluntarily. Since state and local governments have been forced to shed officers to fill budget gaps, detectives more than ever have to weigh relevant facts before launching a full-fledged investigation.
Since its inception in 1994 CUE has processed more than 9,000 cases of missing people. CUE pours volumes of time and resources into each one, printing fliers, buying billboards, creating websites and launching searches.”
This site provides an opportunity for families, law enforcement agencies and investigators to search nationwide for missing persons using a variety of powerful search features. Anyone may search the database, but by registering in the system both law enforcement professionals and the general public will also be able to:
- Add new missing persons cases
- Add physical and circumstantial details, photographs, dental contacts and other critical pieces of information to a case
- Create and print missing persons posters
- Track multiple cases as information is added to the system
With your help, we can increase the number of missing persons cases solved each year providing closure for families and law enforcement officials nationwide.
Although the problem of missing persons and unidentified human remains in this country has existed for a long time, significant progress has been made in recent years. In 2003, the DNA Initiative was launched. The Office of Justice Program's (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) began funding major efforts to maximize the use of DNA technology in our criminal justice system. Much of NIJ's work has focused on developing tools to investigate and solve the cases of missing persons and unidentified decedents.
The NamUs databases are just one element of a broader program to improve the Nation's capacity to address these cases. For example, NIJ also funds free testing of unidentified human remains and provides family reference-sample kits, at no charge, to any jurisdiction in the country. Other efforts includetraining law enforcement officers, medical examiners, judges, and attorneys on forensic DNA evidence.
For questions about the NamUs system, please contact email@example.com.
Let's Bring Them Home operates a national missing adults program: providing services and coordination between various government agencies, law enforcement, media, and the families of endangered missing adults, as well as safety education for all ages.