COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— Today marks five years since the disappearance of a Columbus woman.
Erin June Hill Collier went missing March 20, 2018. On the anniversary of Collier’s disappearance her sister, Sarah King-Kemp, organized a, “Gathering for the Missing,” to honor Collier and other missing persons across Georgia.
Kemp says the goal of Monday’s event was to remind the community they are still searching, something they will never stop doing.
“Our loved ones need a voice and we’ll be their voice,” Kemp said.
The gathering reminded the community Collier is not the only person missing. Kemp read the names of 17 missing persons from Georgia. Family members came out to represent their missing loved ones, some last seen in 1985.
“It’s sad that that’s the way we had to come together as a whole,” Kemp said. “But if we don’t come together as a whole, then who will?”
More than 30 family members and friends seeking closure gathered Monday night on the 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge, an event they are all too familiar with.
Ebony Giddens went missing March 12, 2018. Her cousin, Lakeithia Giddens, tells WRBL she will never stop looking.
“Although we may not be seen all the time, we are always thinking, looking, believing that we will one day get an answer,” Giddens said.
Olivia Fowler of Meriwether County was last seen Aug. 13, 2021. Her three children, family members, and friends continue to search for her.
“She was somebody. She wasn’t just somebody that didn’t exist, and nobody cared about,” Fowler’s aunt Tamara McCoy said. “She wasn’t. She still, isn’t, and I pray that she’s still out there.”
During the gathering the family members released lanterns, a motion Kemp said would light the way for their loved ones’ return home.
While WRBL only heard from three of the families who are still seeking closure, the list of those missing continue to grow longer each day.
Going forward, Kemp says she hopes to see the Columbus Police Department create a Missing Persons Unit.
Those Still Missing
March 20, 2023: Columbus woman is missing for five years, search continues (wrbl.com)
July 3, 2022: ‘Where’s Erin,’ CPD renews interest in missing Columbus woman | WRBL
March 20, 2022: Four years since the disappearance of Columbus woman, family still wondering ‘Where’s Erin?’
Missing Persons: Erin June Collier | Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Lorrene Debra Reynolds
July 24, 2020: Columbus Police continue search for missing woman, last seen in 1985 | WRBL
Dale Pearl Smith
July 8, 2022: Columbus Police search for woman who went missing on Mother’s Day of 1987 | WRBL
May 11, 2022: Columbus Police still seeking answers in case of woman missing 35 years | WRBL
May 12, 2021: Where is Dale Pearl Smith? Columbus Police searching for woman missing for 34 years | WRBL
May 10, 2018: 31 YEARS LATER: Columbus Police searching for missing woman (wrbl.com)
Oliver Monroe Smith
Oliver Smith was last seen April 10, 1996 at his home in the Oakland Park area of south Columbus. According to the Charley Project, he told his wife he was going into the backyard to garden. That was the list time he was heard from.
Sarah Murphy was last seen July 7, 1999 in the East Wynnton area of Columbus, according to the Charley Project.
Jan. 23, 2016: Vigil for man missing since 2002 (wrbl.com)
Missing Persons: Christopher Thompkins | Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Wanda Jean Perkins
July 12, 2022: Columbus Police seeking information in case of woman missing for 20 years | WRBL
July 23, 2020: Columbus Police still searching for Wanda Jean Perkins after 18 years (wrbl.com)
Marjorie Gay was last seen at 3:00 a.m., July 5, 2003. This was in the 3700 block of Cusseta Road in Columbus, Ga.
Patrick Elmore was last seen in Columbus, Ga. on Sept. 1, 2006. He was 26 years old when he went missing.
Raymond “Paul” Akins
July 12, 2022: Columbus Police continue search for Raymond ‘Paul’ Akins, last seen in 2013 | WRBL
Jan. 7, 2021: Columbus Police looking for new clues about man missing for 8 years | WRBL
July 12, 2020: Columbus Police asking for help locating Raymond “Paul” Akins, missing since 2013 (wrbl.com)
Christopher Shawn Scott-Lett
June 21, 2017: Family keeps search alive for Christopher Scott more than two years after his disappearance (wrbl.com)
Nov. 10, 2017: Columbus Police investigate 5 cold cases of missing people (wrbl.com)
March 26, 2016: Family still looking for missing man one year later (wrbl.com)
May 10, 2015: Search continues for missing mentally impaired Columbus man (wrbl.com)
July 1, 2022: Columbus Police Department continue search for Ebony Giddens, last seen in 2018 | WRBL
Dec. 23, 2021: Where is Ebony Giddens? Columbus Police seeking information about woman missing since 2018 | WRBL
July 22, 2020: Ebony Giddens still missing more than two years later (wrbl.com)
Dec. 23, 2019: Family members celebrate Ebony Giddens’ birthday and continue to search for answers in her disappearance | WRBL
March 12, 2018: MISSING PERSON: The Columbus Police Department is asking the public for assistance (wrbl.com)
John Lamar Craft
July 4, 2022: Columbus Police search for man missing since 2020 | WRBL
June 30, 2020: Columbus Police searching for critically missing man (wrbl.com)
March 5, 2022: Tiffany Foster: The search continues for missing woman in LaGrange a year later | WRBL
Sept. 23, 2021: Reward increased in case of missing Coweta County woman, now between $35,000 and $60,000 (wrbl.com)
May 13, 2021: Coweta County Sheriff’s Office looking for missing mom with Columbus connections | WRBL
May 8, 2021: Reward being offered in case of missing Georgia woman, Tiffany Foster | WRBL
Forest Clayton-Pate Preston
June 29, 2022: Columbus Police searching for man last seen in early 2021 | WRBL
Missing Persons: Forest “Clay” Preston | Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Aug. 22, 2022: Family still searching for missing Meriwether County mother | WRBL
May 24, 2022: Missing Meriwether County woman last seen nearly one year ago | WRBL
April 2, 2022: Cold cases bring loved ones together in attempt to search for answers | WRBL
Feb. 24, 2022: Search for Meriwether County mom continues six months after she vanished | WRBL