PHOENIX - It was Thanksgiving Day in 1993 when Patricia Williams' mother, Aussie Benford, disappeared.
Investigators say Benford, who would have been 59 this year, told her family she’d be right back, then jumped in a car with an unknown man outside their home near 23rd Avenue and Campbell in Phoenix.
She was never seen or heard from again.
Now, almost 23 years later, Williams remains hopeful she'll one day get answers.
“When I say hopeful, I don't mean hopeful in the way that I’m going to find her alive and we're going to have this wonderful reunion,” she said. “But I’m just hopeful I’ll get that closure that I’m going to find out one day what happened.”
Peace of mind and some sense of closure is exactly what local law enforcement agencies are hoping to give families at the second annual Missing in Arizona Day.
The goal of the event is to bring loved ones of missing people together in an effort to advance cases, add new evidence and offer emotional support.
Part of that is getting new DNA samples to update state databases that have information on unidentified people.
“The more information, the better. Just because technology has advanced so much, you never know what little thing can lead to identification,” said Christen Eggers, a community liaison and unidentified decedent coordinator with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Missing in Arizona Day event will be held Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arizona State University West College Campus located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Glendale Arizona.
For more information, follow this link to the Facebook event page.