One year ago, Burnese Merrit Rudolph's loved ones were unable to contact her by phone.
Then, things turned disconcerting when her car was found abandoned in a patch of woods.
The week of August 1st, 2006 saw several events; a community searching for answers, a family doing the same, but the one mystery that remains is why was Burnese Rudolph's car was abandoned in a wooded area and how did a 62-year-old who walks with a cane get out of the search area?
Questions like these frustrate family and police alike, as Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said of the search, "Several different resources, from manpower right down to canines searching the area."
So where does the family go from here? Rudolph's son-in-law Greg, Lee keeps the missing poster in his office directly over his head, giving everyone he does business with an opportunity to see if they can help. "My wife and of course her brother and family they're frustrated; probably more so than I am. We're all praying together and again; I haven't given up hope," he said.
Sadly enough, police cases involving missing persons that go unsolved for more than a year rarely have a happy ending. Therefore, some at this point are simply asking for closure.
"That’s the last aspect of it is the closure and I’m sure that family of Mrs. Rudolph, that’s the one thing that's on their mind everyday," said Sgt. Scarbrough.
Lee says bringing this to a close is now the most feasible outcome. "I tell people if they know something, if they're afraid of repercussions due to a crime that's been committed or what have you, we're not sure of that, but if it has, we're not concerned about crime and prosecution at this point. We want closure and to find my mother-in-law and bring this to an end."
Police and family urge anyone who has information to contact the Troy Police Department Secret Witness Line at 566-5555.