Father of missing man demanding changes to missing person cases

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The number of unsolved missing persons cases in Horry County is growing, families of the missing say it is unacceptable.

According to the website – findthemissing.org- a list dating back to the 1980s includes 26 people currently missing from our area, but does not include Heather Elvis or Zack Malinowski.

Malinowski's step-dad, Lonnie Jordan, is calling for a change in how missing persons cases are dealt with in the county.

"I hate seeing other families, like the Elvis family going through this. You try to reach out, but they're not very receptive, because during that time you pull in, you don't know who to trust," said Jordan.

No family chooses this ordeal, and many don't know the first steps to take.

"There are a lot of resources available for missing persons, but a lot of it is just a website. But a website isn't going to find your missing person, liking something on Facebook isn't going to find your missing person," said Jordan.

So, he wants to change that.

Already, he has created MyrtleBeachMissingPersons.org and admits it is a work in progress. He wants the site to be a starting point for families with resources readily available. Including access to the CUE Center for Missing Persons.

Through it all, Jordan said the CUE Center has been a steady support system for him and his family. He wants Governor Haley to recognize the group and fund some of its non-profit missions.

"I'd like to see something in place that once the case hits the 72-hour mark and it seems there is foul play, that maybe some money is given out to help with the search. Everyone there is a volunteer, no one gets a paycheck," Jordan noted that a weekend search can cost the non-profit thousands of dollars.

He has created a petition on change.org to bring the Governor's attention to all the missing persons cases in South Carolina.

"They're not getting solved. And we need to draw attention to that and find out missing family members," said Jordan.

He believes the detectives working the cases have their hearts in the right place and work hard, but that the Horry County Police Department is under-funded and understaffed.

"Once the missing persons case gets so far along and the next missing person goes missing, that first one goes to the wayside. That shouldn't happen," he noted.

Overall, Jordan wants a program created in the county for families, steps to immediately take after a loved one goes missing.

He said the CUE Center is creating a search and rescue team for Horry County with trained searchers ready to take action immediately after someone goes missing.

Being properly trained, he points out, is so important in these missing persons cases because crews will know what to look for and what to do once they find something. The Cue Center asks any searches for any missing person to go through their organization.

To learn more about the Cue Center and their mission you can visit their website: ncmissingpersons.org

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