New hope for Community Activists who help find the missing - CBS 5 - KPHO

New hope for Community Activists who help find the missing

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Judy Martin at a rally for Gloria Walker Saturday Judy Martin at a rally for Gloria Walker Saturday
Judy Martin Judy Martin
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

For the many years that Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were missing there were countless rallies and vigils held in their names. When many thought it was hopeless to still search - the group Survivors/Victims of Tragedy was one of the groups that never gave up looking. Judy Martin is the founder of the group.

"The families wanted us to keep their pictures out there, their stories out there, and we were thankful to work with them," says Martin.

In fact, Martin has spent years helping families find their loved ones and overcome the pain of tragic loss. The discovery of Amanda, Gina and Michelle Knight seemed to finally get Martin some recognition for her efforts.

"Amanda and Gina said they saw us. They had a television. They saw us when we had a rally. That had to give them hope."

Finally, Martin says police seem to be more receptive to working with her and other community activist groups on missing person cases.

The hope is that moving forward from now when someone goes missing police will call on the resources of a group like the one Judy Martin heads up.

Judy and her colleagues are asking for police to create a missing person's unit and to give families the names and numbers of groups like Judy's that can offer assistance is doing things like putting out fliers. And there's something else.

"We need to stop treating teenager and adults as being old enough to make their own choice to disappear."

Like many who become community activists Martin is fueled by the pain of her own loss and the search for someone missing in their lives.  She is searching for her own son.

"John, I love you," she says with tears in her eyes.

The amazing discovery on Seymour Avenue giving everyone, including Judy, hope that there may be more happy endings.

"I'm just so thankful it happened. It's amazing," says Judy with a smile. 

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