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My "Jane Doe" case is a good example of what this organization is all about. She was a young woman in her late teens, early twenties when she was deliberately set on fire and murdered. All investigative leads have been exhausted and there are reasons to believe she may have traveled from another state as a runaway or is simply a "kid off the grid". If we do not keep cases such as this alive then families will never know what happened to their loved ones and murderers will continue to roam free looking for their next young prey.

The internet is a great way to move information around and "Outpost for Hope" supports this movement with its website full of different options, suggestions and ideas.  With all the forensic files and crime scene investigation shows on television people want to be proactive in finding their loved ones or solving crimes.  Since 2001 I have watched their website grow with the needs of the people they are serving, defining an area that no one has taken the time to define - "kids off the grid". They are continually moving forward with solutions that make a real difference.... In all my years in law enforcement (over 17 years) I have never seen anyone take on such a challenging humanitarian cause as "Outpost for Hope."  

 Barbara A. Anderson

 Forensic Investigator / Artist

 Sacramento Police Department - Forensic Investigations

    Sacramento, CA


I met Libba Phillips recently and knew her Granddaddy as a former pastor of our church.  I have a son who has been involved in drugs for 20 years now.  Libba and I talked about the pain of what drugs and mental illness does to families.  However, there is hope and the information that Outpost for Hope is giving families that is so needed in our world today.  I didn't know about this help until I met her and indeed it will be a great support.

Thank you,

Karen W.

Each Year, An Estimated Thousands of Children Are Lost While in Foster Care
June 4, 2006 —

Ann Mercey is afraid to leave her home, because she's waiting to hear
from her daughter Ashley, 15, who's been missing for two months.

"It's just horrifying it's horrifying not knowing where your child is," Mercey said. "It's
like a nightmare, and I just want to wake up from it."

Ashley wasn't living at home when she disappeared. She's been in group foster homes for
three years because authorities decided she needed more supervision.

"I believe if it was somebody else's kid, they would be looking for them," Mercey said,
"like with the amber alert and everything."

Countless Missing

Ashley is one of thousands of foster children missing across the country -- no one knows
exactly how many.

California, Tennessee and Michigan have all admitted they had lost track of children in
their care. Florida has one of the highest numbers, with 648 missing children.

"It's a very serious concern," said Millicent Williams of the Child Welfare League of
America. "One of the complications in addressing this problem is the lack of sufficient
social workers available to really track children. It's also the lack of a computerized
systems within agencies to do an accurate tracking of kids."

Kimberly Foster knows that all too well. She moved to her first foster home when she
was eight and ran away six times to live on the streets of Miami.  "I was abused," she said. "I was raped."  
Social services finally found her in the hospital -- after she tried to kill herself
"I was neglected," she said. "I was belittled. There were times I just didn't think I was
worth living. I didn't think I was worth having a life to live. I was very depressed. I didn't
feel wanted."

Room for More Improvement

Child advocates say conditions have improved over the past few years -- after some
shocking cases brought the issue into the spotlight, including the 2002 murder of 4-year-
old Rilya Wilson in Miami. It took Florida social services 15 months to notice she was

"I think that the state takes their job as a parent very seriously," said Florida Department
of Child Services commissioner, Darlene Dunbar. "Can we improve? Absolutely."

A few states, including California and Michigan, have put up Web sites with photos of
missing foster children. Florida has been working to strengthen rules for caseworkers
after an investigation found some failed to visit foster care children monthly as required
and falsified records to cover it up.

There are now state supported programs to help foster kids train for jobs and college. 
Thanks to one of them, Foster is now on a scholarship at Miami Dade College -- a dream
Anne Mercey holds for her daughter, if only she could find her.

ABC News' Gigi Stone originally reported this story June 3, 2006, for "World News
Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures


Hello, I just ran into your website and I think that it is great.

I am happy there are people out there willing to stand up for their missing loved ones that the police do not care about to even make a report.

My sister has been missing since she was 15/16yrs old and my mother never filed a missing persons report on her. My mother was murdered in 1981 and at that time my sister would have been going on the age of 18 and still missing.  

My siblings and I tried to get the police in NY to help us and to file a missing persons report, however, they refused.  It has been a frustrating 22 years and we still cannot get them to help.  We refuse to give up our search and our hope is that our sister is still out there alive and ok somewhere.