CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The group is called Find Me and was founded in 2002 by Kelly Snyder, a former DEA agent who spent more than 20 years in law enforcement. He also worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and created a network of experts as a proactive way to approach missing persons cases.Watch Interview
As missing persons cases like Gabby Petito and Daniel Robinson make national headlines, a Valley-area nonprofit has a mission to give families answers and some peace of mind.
Out of his Chandler home office on Wednesday, he was answering emails and calls. He says they have 42 investigations he hasn’t assigned yet. From psychics to search and rescue dogs, private investigators and medical examiners, police departments and families directly reach out to the nonprofit.
“Sometimes we’ll get a request immediately when the police are called,” Synder said. “We’ll get it within a day or two, or a week. But most of the time, it’s usually within a month or two when the family realized that the police are not looking for their missing loved one, whether it’s an adult or a child.”
As a father and grandfather, one of the cases that hit home was the search for Isabel Celis. The tragic disappearance of the 6-year-old-girl in Tucson led to a massive search effort. Her remains was found in 2017.
Snyder says the team only works three or four cases a month, focusing on each one at a time. “Sometimes we get a case that’s 10, 15 years old,” Snyder said. “And the circumstances don’t change, it just make it harder and a less possibility of finding the individual the longer the people wait.”
Snyder says they don’t want to give families false hope, but to some degree, the group is a last resort. Snyder says what they do need is volunteers.