Staying aware: Missing person cases grieve Port Jervis

Posted 8/9/22

PORT JERVIS, NY — Everyone has had exposure to missing person cases throughout their life, whether it was a picture on a milk carton, a flier or Amber Alerts.

Whenever I go into the Walmart …

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Staying aware: Missing person cases grieve Port Jervis


PORT JERVIS, NY — Everyone has had exposure to missing person cases throughout their life, whether it was a picture on a milk carton, a flier or Amber Alerts.

Whenever I go into the Walmart in Westfall, PA, I look at the wall near the restrooms, where pictures and descriptions of missing persons are posted. I would study each image. Just in case I would happen to come across whoever it was.

Most of the time, when we have exposure to these cases, we glance past them, thinking about what we can do to help. Sometimes, we believe there isn’t anything we can do, but there is.

In Port Jervis, the city has been feeling the grief of three missing person cases as of last week. All three women went missing during May and June. Efforts by family, friends, authorities and nonprofits have been consistently searching for these women:

Brittany Hendershot, last seen on June 23.

Heather V. Callas, last seen on June 20.

Suzette A. Havenbrook, last seen on May 1.

With any heavy topic, one of the best things to do is to be a voice, or in other words, to raise awareness. With some research and social media usage, a lot can be accomplished in finding someone, especially with the common missing person cases.

Missing person cases happen all over the world, country and state.

“As of December 31, 2021, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) contained 93,718 active missing person records. Juveniles under 18 years of age account for 30,400 or 32 percent of the records. When juveniles are defined as under 21 years of age, there are 39,114 cases or 42 percent of the records. During 2021, 521,705 missing person records were entered into NCIC,” according to

An organization that has dedicated their efforts to finding missing persons goes by the name Hope Alive 845.

Hope Alive is a nonprofit group committed to searching and aiding in missing persons cases in Sullivan County. Its mission, as it says on its website, is to “help families, friends, victims and law enforcement with support or necessary services for the missing, kidnapped, trafficked or exploited children and adults.”

The organization began in 2020 and has been helping in cases of missing persons and runaways, and aiding in searches that are conducted statewide.

Along with the three recent cases, Hope Alive noted a concerning rise in cases in their area.

“I know lately, the spike [in cases] is going up for missing children, missing adults. I think this is the month we have been the busiest.” said organization member Domingo Ramos.

Ramos emphasized the importance of communication and spreading awareness. Resharing posts can create a more extensive exposure of the case to different communities of people; talking out can save a life.

“Nobody goes missing without someone knowing,” said Ramos.

Cases dating back to 1984 have been brought to Hope Alive, and they work on those cases until they can get an answer. Ramos delivered the message that all it takes is for someone to talk; without someone talking, they couldn’t have worked on the case from 1984.

Hope Alive’s team is dedicated to reuniting missing persons with their loved ones.

“If we get a call at 2 a.m., we’re out in the street already looking,” said Ramos. “This is what we do. Our goal is to help our community, but we need our community to help us too. Like I said, no one goes missing without someone knowing.”

If you or someone you know has any information on the cases mentioned above and below, call 845/866-0442.

Below are other cases Hope Alive is currently working on:

Steven Craft, last seen on April 28, 2020.

Joseph D. Helt, last seen on January 16, 1987.

Marvin C. Gibbs, last seen on March 29, 1985.

Visit the group’s Facebook page at HopeAlive845 or their website, Reshare and repost to bring these individuals home to their families.

HopeAlive845, missing persons, Brittany Hendershot, Heather V. Callas, Suzete A. Havenbrook


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