Family of missing Belton teen encouraged by Cleveland discovery

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BELTON, Mo. --  There's a sense of renewed faith for families of missing people.

After three missing women in Ohio are found alive, many other families of missing children are finding it as a source of hope.

Police say three women who were found alive in Ohio had been missing for a decade. That provides hope for the family of Belton native Jesse Ross, as well as police officers who are busy searching for others.

Donald Ross says he'll never give up hope.

"It's like a rollercoaster," Ross said. "You have your ups and downs."

In fact., hope is renewed that his son Jesse will be found. He hasn't been seen in nearly seven years.

On Monday, police in Northern Ohio rescued three women. Reports from Cleveland say they were being held prisoner in their own neighborhood, and hadn't seen their loved ones in 10 years.

Ross says it seems like only yesterday that 19-year old Jesse vanished from a mock United Nations Conference he was attending in Chicago. That was November 2006. Jesse was a sophomore at UMKC, and hasn't been seen since then.

"We don't know these people, but we know where they've been," Donald Ross said. "That gives us a chance to realize someone's had a tremendous uplift in their life."

Ross says police have very few leads in Jesse's case.

Officer Gary Mason with Overland Park Police sees reports of missing people all the time, including the one from Ohio.

"I can speak for all law enforcement," Mason said. "We're encouraged by the news that came out of there."

The Overland Park Police aren't involved in Ross' case. However, Mason understands anxious families who long for closure.

"We never quit looking for the answer," Mason said. "For the family, it goes on and on."

"You have to wake up each morning to hope instead of despair," Ross said. "You have that choice."

Donald Ross says the Chicago Police Department has assigned a new detective to the case of Jesse's disappearance. However, there are no new leads as to the disappearance.

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