Friday, February 02, 2007


Publication:Daily American Republic; Date:Jan 31, 2007; Section:Front Page; Page Number:1A

Amber alert for adults?

Daughter of Mary Grobe is behind efforts


More than three years after her own elderly mother disappeared, Joyce Caldwell is spearheading a campaign to persuade Missouri lawmakers to step up efforts to find missing adults.

Caldwell’s mother, Mary Lee Grobe, was 74 when last seen at her home in Butler County on Sept. 29, 2003.

While the investigation into Grobe’s disappearance continues, Caldwell said she hopes the passage of Senate Bill 67 will help other families quickly find their missing loved ones.

“Recently and at my request, Senator Scott Rupp sponsored SB 67, which will allow the Missouri Department of Public Safety to establish rules for Amber like alerts for missing elderly and endangered adults,” Caldwell explained. “This would be a much needed step in improving the success rate of these investigations.

“I don’t have another mother to lose, but it is my hope that her case will bring awareness of the improvements needed. I hope to turn my tragedy into something positive that will help others.”

Caldwell, who lives in Wentzville, testified before the Missouri State Senate Judiciary and Civil Criminal Committee hearing in Jefferson City in favor of SB 67. In addition to explaining how SB 67 might have helped when her mother went missing, Caldwell mentioned two other local missing women in her testimony: Vicki Lour, 36, missing from Piedmont since June of 2006, and Teresa Butler, 35, missing from Risco since Jan. 25, 2006.

“It bothers me that Missouri, especially rural Missouri, has so many missing persons. Women and the elderly seem to make up the majority of the victims. I think this provision says Missouri values them no matter which county they reside in,” Caldwell said. The bill defines a “missing endangered person” as being someone whose whereabouts are unknown and who is: 1) Physically or mentally disabled to the degree that the person is dependent upon an agency or another individual; 2) Missing under circumstances indicating that the missing person’s safety may be in danger or; 3) Missing under involuntary or unknown circumstances.

The bill is also intended to establish more consistent rules and procedures to aid investigators throughout the state.

“A law like this would have helped lessen the impact this crime has had on our family. If it had been acted upon quickly, with numerous professionals and prominent media coverage, I firmly believe the case would have been solved,” she said.

Sen. Rupp said he introduced the bill with the hopes of better protecting adults, especially elderly and/or disabled people who wander from their homes or caregivers.

“Missouri needs to do all it can to ensure that missing persons, particularly those who are less able to care for themselves, are brought home as quickly and safely as possible,” Rupp said in a statement.

According to the FBI, there were 50,523 active missing adult cases in the U.S. as of July 1, 2006.

For more information about Senate Bill 67, go to


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