I spent a bitterly cold morning in Camden this week tagging along with police K9 units searching for a 57-year-old woman who has been missing for nearly three weeks. She was taken from her home by an ex-boyfriend early on a Sunday morning and beaten with a pipe. He was found and arrested the next day wearing bloody clothing. She has not been seen since.
This wasn't the first time I've gone with police on a missing person search, but it's the first time the tragedy of how a person can simply disappear has really hit me. I've been out with these same police officers a few times over the last couple weeks, and it has been interesting to see their mood deteriorate each time.
With a suspect in custody who refuses to say anything, the police are left to blindly search parks, roadsides, lakes, rivers, anywhere they suspect someone might dump a body. It's an overwhelming task, and after three weeks, they've come up with nothing, and likely never will.
Five years ago I covered friends and family searching for Danielle Imbo when she disappeared, along with Richard Pitrone, after leaving a club on South Street. In five years, nobody has ever found a trace of either one of them, or his truck. All simply vanished. I can't imagine the pain of losing somebody that way, and it makes me appreciate the work that a lot of these police officers are putting in, some on their own time, to finding a complete stranger, and a needle in a haystack, one they know is likely already gone.