As I'm sure is the case with most people, I always find it so unsettling when I read or hear about missing persons cases, especially the cases that remain unsolved for years after the person goes missing.

Having been raised in the Waterbury area, I always felt haunted by the billboards and flyers that commanded the community to help turn up the whereabouts of Billy Smolinski -- the young man whose missing persons case had his face plastered all over the country that summer before I headed off to college. I always felt so terrible for Billy's friends and family because it was so obvious that they loved him so much. By all accounts, he was a great guy.

Those disturbing memories were mustered up again recently, as I was watching some show on TV with my wife and low and behold, there was the story of Billy Smolinski. My wife's obsession with the Investigation Discovery channel often leaves me sick to my stomach, but this time, it got me thinking. I wondered how many active missing persons cases were going on right here in my current community -- Danbury, CT. After searching the Danbury Police Department's website, I saw the faces of these six people:

  • Lavinia Lalos

    11-Years-Old

    Sex: Female

    Race: White

    Height: 4'5"

    Weight: 75 lbs.

    Eyes: Brown

    Hair: Brown

    Last Known Address: 10 Haddad Dr.

    Missing Since: 9/25/12

    Police say that Lavinia may be with her mother, 48-year-old Sandra Goncalves, in Brazil.

     

    Credit: Danbury PD
  • Mery Raquel Acosta Maita

    22-Years-Old

    Sex: Female

    Race: Hispanic

    Height: 5'0"

    Weight: 150 lbs.

    Eyes: Brown

    Hair: Brown

    Last Known Address: 21 Thorpe St. Ext.

    Missing Since: 6/6/11

    Mery has been known to use the name Maricruz Ramirez-Ceron

    Danbury PD
  • Edivano Ribeiro

    44-Years-Old

    Sex: Male

    Race: Hispanic

    Height: 5'7"

    Weight: 150 lbs.

    Eyes: Brown

    Hair: Black

    Last Known Address: 22 New Street

    Missing Since: 2/10/96

    Danbury PD
  • Monica Hartnet

    57-Years-Old

    Sex: Female

    Race: White

    Height: 5'2"

    Weight: 100 lbs.

    Eyes: Brown

    Hair: Brown

    Last Known Address: Brookfield/Danbury area

    Missing Since: 2003

    Danbury PD
  • Kelley Zanon

    Age Unknown

    Sex: Female

    Race: Hispanic

    Height: 5'7"

    Weight: 130 lbs.

    Eyes: Brown

    Hair: Black

    Last Known Address: 5 Down Street

    Missing Since: 2/8/06

    Kelly has a spider tattoo on her left shoulder.

    Danbury PD
  • Vitor Moreira

    31-Years-Old

    Sex: Male

    Race: Hispanic

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 170 lbs.

    Eyes: Hazel

    Hair: Black

    Last Known Address: 11 Douglas Dr.

    Missing Since: 3/1/11

    Danbury PD