Friends, Family Gather to Bring Awareness to Those Missing in Tuolumne County

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Chandra Levy's parents and Laci Peterson's friends gathered with dozens of other families who have lost loved ones at Tuolumne County's Missing Persons Awareness Day. It's an event where those who are still searching for a missing family member or friend can share their stories with others who are going through similar circumstances.

It's a group that no one wants to be a part of -- the friends and families of a missing person.

Allen Martin and Troy Galloway both went missing in early 2016. Their mothers are still asking for answers.

In Tuolumne County, there are currently 25 missing men and women, with six added to the list in the last year.

"There really are this many missing adults in this community and also maybe we can get answers that way by maybe people start talking," said Sandy Lee.

That's why Lee started Tuolumne County Missing Persons Awareness Day as a way to not only call attention to the missing, but to help others who are in a similar situation to one she experienced. Lee's son, Darvis Lee Jr. went missing in October 2010. A few months later she learned he was no longer alive.

"Very minimal remains were found that was confirmed to be his," Lee said. "For a lot of these families, they have nothing to even go on, and I feel so sad for them."

Susan Levy knows what it is like to be a member of the group.

"It's a life sentence of grief," she said.

Susan's daughter, Chandra Levy, went missing in May 2001 in Washington, D.C. Her remains were found a year later in a park. It's a case that still gains national attention -- even today.

"But if I can step out and reach to help somebody else, then it might help me," Susan Levy said.

Sunday, Susan Levy was interviewed by television correspondent and former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark while 20/20 cameras covered a speech given by friends of Laci Peterson.

"She was an amazing friend, daughter, sister and soon-to-be mother," said Stacey Birdsong, a friend of Laci Peterson.

That type of national attention is what Lee wants for all of the 25 people missing in Tuolumne County.

"It's really sad that these cases don't have as much media attention as Laci's did, and that's why when it comes up for us to speak, we're going to help bring these people's attentions to their loved ones," Birdsong said.

Click here for more information on missing people in California.

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