Friendswood couple advised missing girl's family

Laura Recovery Center helps parents of missing children

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - A Friendswood family whose daughter disappeared 16 years ago helped the DeJesus family look for their daughter Gina when she went missing in 2004.

"Beyond exhilarated. We were literally all screaming with joy," said Gayle Smither.

Gina DeJesus' family reached out to Smither and her husband shortly after DeJesus disappeared when she was 14 years old. She and two other women were rescued from a home in Cleveland on Monday.

The Smithers' daughter Laura was kidnapped and murdered 16 years ago. They run the Laura Recovery Center, a foundation that helps parents of missing children.

"Our staff and volunteers worked with the family, gave them ideas, told them how to work with the media, how to effectively keep Gina's story alive," said Smither.

The Internet and social media help keep missing-persons cases alive. The Harris County Sheriff's Office takes tips at there website.

"It does make a difference, even if it's just that particular person seeing themselves on our website and calling us and telling us 'I'm not missing. I'm okay,'" said Harris County Sgt. Doug Thomas.

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