Police partner with Ad Hoc to find missing people

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- New collaboration between police and the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime hopes to reunite more families of missing persons.

The partnership is designed to bridge gaps between police and citizens.

Nearly 800 people have been reported missing in Kansas City so far this year.

Through social media and door-to-door campaigns, the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime believes it can provide an important connection between detectives and families, to improve relationships and help find missing loved ones.

"Oftentimes families are concerned that not enough is being done," said Damon Daniel, Ad Hoc president. "So this is an extension of the police department where their efforts and our efforts to assure the family and provide some comfort that we are doing as much as we can to locate their loved ones."

This effort comes after a missing person case turned into a homicide last month, when a someone walking near 51st Street and College Avenue found the body of Carrie Mae Blewett.

Blewett had been missing for three weeks, but her family says police initially turned away relatives' attempt to file a missing persons' report.

Ad Hoc believes this new collaborative approach can help prevent these sort of communication breakdowns.

"We can contact missing persons directly and say, 'Hey, we don’t know what the breakdown was but this person was not able to file their missing persons report,'" Daniel said. "We’ve encouraged them to call you directly and make that report happen as well."

Police say Blewett's case is an exception, the vast majority of missing person reports don't turn into homicides.

But by partnering with Ad Hoc, detectives hope to get photos and information about the missing in front of more eyes using social media.

Ad Hoc also will help with community canvases, where neighbors can remain anonymous to provide tips that can help detectives.

Blewett's relatives worked with Ad Hoc on their own to circulate flyers and made their own social media pleas. Homicide detectives continue to work to determine what happened to the 37-year-old mother of four and bring her killer to justice.