When someone goes missing, there's usually a large effort by law enforcement, family and friends to find them.
When someone is murdered without a known suspect, police and relatives try to find out who did it. And when a body is discovered and no kin claim it, advocates who work on such cases push to link circumstances or DNA to bring them home.
In honor of Labor Day, Patch is recognizing the efforts of all who work to solve these cases, bring the missing and unidentified home, and provide closure to the families or justice for the victims of unsolved homicides. Included in that are the many people who give the missing and unidentified "temporary homes" on websites like the Doe Network or NamUS until they are found or claimed.
Here are 10 of the western Pennsylvania cases that have been closed, as listed on the Pennsylvania Missing Persons website run by :
Roberta "Bertie" Merline Lawrence, a Coraopolis resident, was last seen on Dec. 31, 2001 as she waited for the bus at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street in Coraopolis. Her body was recovered on Feb. 14, 2002 from the Ohio River.
Sarah Boehm, 14, disappeared in 1994 and, in June 2003, was identified as a Jane Doe found in Ohio the same year she disappeared. She was from Rochester, Beaver County.
Leslie Rivera-Hager of New Sewickley Township, Beaver County, disappeared on Sept. 19, 2003. Her body was found on Jan. 2, 2004 in a wooded area approximately 1,000 feet from her home.
Melissa Snodgrass of Pittsburgh disappeared on Sept. 7, 2003 after walking to a local convenience store with her mother's dog. A victim of homicide, she was found dead in the basement of a house only blocks from her home. The remains of the dog were found with her.
Michael Delano Conti last contacted his family at his Allison Park home on April 21, 2004. His remains were foundon Sept. 23 that year in a wooded area in Hampton Township.
Parker Kelley was a trucker who disappeared from Donegal on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004 following a minor accident with his truck. His remains were discovered on Nov. 30, 2004 in a wooded area of Donegal, not far from a restaurant where he had gone for food. There were no signs of foul play and investigators believe he may have become disoriented after the accident.
Patricia McDonald of Forward Township was last heard from by cell phone at around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2005. She was on her way home from her workplace. That Dec. 26, her pickup truck was discovered over an embankment along Route 51 in Jefferson Hills. Patricia was found dead in the vehicle.
Anthony Armand Jackson of Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood was last seen in East Liberty on June 21, 2004. His skeletal remains were found on Jan. 12, 2005 in a wooded area of Homewood, about a mile from where he was last seen.
Myron Lewis Simon of Plum Borough, a professor at the Boyce Campus of Allegheny County Community College in Monroeville, was last seen on Dec. 2, 2003. On the third anniversary of his disappearance, Myron's vehicle was found in the Allegheny River, near the Tarentum Bridge. His remains were inside the car, an apparent suicide.
Melissa Galiyas, 32, of Clairton was last seen on March 26, 2007 at a bus stop at the corner of St. Clair and Miller avenues in Clairton. Her skeletal remains were found on Dec. 22, 2007 over a hillside in a wooded area along Van Kirk Street, just a couple of blocks from her home. She was the victim of a homicide.