The WA State Patrol Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit will unveil its newest Homeward Bound Truck – a program to assist in the recovery of missing children and adults.
The new truck and semi-trailer will display Alyssa McLemore, missing from Kent since 2009, in an effort to increase exposure for her case. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1 in 6 children are recovered due to the public viewing of a photo.
The Homeward Bound Program was first started by Trooper Renee Padgett in 2005 while working in the WSP Commercial Vehicle Division. Trooper Padgett worked then with Gordon Trucking with a vision that posters of missing children displayed on the side of semi-trailers travelling around the country could bring much needed awareness and possibly aid in recovery.
The program now works with Kam-Way Transportation and over the years, has featured 28 individuals, three of whom have been recovered. While it is unknown what role the Homeward Bound Program played in their recovery, WSP believes that any and all increased exposure of missing persons cases are assets in recovery or closure.
Trooper Padgett lost a long battle to cancer in the intervening years but representatives of her family will be present in her honor as well as members of Ms. McLemore’s family, tribal representatives in honor of Ms. McLemore’s cultural roots, Kam-Way Transportation leaders, the Chief of WSP, and Kent Police Department investigators, as well as legislators supporting missing person recovery efforts and the recently passed legislation that gives greater focus to missing Native American women