CHICAGO — The Cook County Sherriff’s Department is launching a new program to try find out what happened to about 170 people who’ve been reported missing over the past few years.
The sheriff’s department has put together a website for the Missing Persons Project and is dedicating three detectives to work full time on these missing person cases dating back to 1930.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said this project will help the families have resolution and closure.
The sheriff’s office has identified about 170 cases that they are working on. Information about each case can be found on their website where information can also be submitted.
Detectives plan to work with local police departments and will stay out of the investigation if the department is still following up leads.
Currently officials are focusing their attention on missing women on the list but will continue to follow up leads on missing men as well.
One case they are tracking closely is Viola Martin’s case. Her family was at a Wednesday press conference to announce the project.
Martin went missing in December of 2009 in Glenwood. Her car was found not long after in suburban Dixmoor. One of her daughters, Angela Martin, said her mother had a drug problem but had been clean for the past five years. She left their house on Christmas and they haven’t seen or heard from her since.
Angela said her mother has great grandchildren that she has never met.