Answers are slow to come for police, families searching for missing in Louisville

Published: May. 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2013 at 8:33 PM EDT
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Amy Haueter (Source: Becky Haueter/WAVE 3 Archives)
Amy Haueter (Source: Becky Haueter/WAVE 3 Archives)
Becky Haueter
Becky Haueter
Sgt. Donny Burbrink
Sgt. Donny Burbrink

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a joyful week for the families in Cleveland of the three women who were missing but now have been found. Imagine what hundreds of people in Louisville must be feeling like. They also have missing loved ones, and stories like the amazing, decade-in-the-making reunion give them hope when they're just trying to find closure with the help of a group of Louisville police officers.

"There are days that I hope that she's happy someplace," said Becky Haueter about her missing daughter, Amy, "that she's living with somebody that's taking care of her."

In 2007, after a happy ending in another long-term missing child case, Haueter talked about Amy, who she hasn't seen since Amy disappeared in the Fern Creek area in 2005 when she was just 14.

"The leads just went nowhere," Haueter said.

"You have family members who have been waiting years to find out anything about their loved ones," said LMPD Sergeant Donny Burbrink. "I mean just the closure of it would be fine enough for them."

Burbrink, the head of LMPD's missing persons unit, is working to solve Amy's case and dozens of others.

"Almost 100 in this binder alone and this is from 1983 to September 2012," he said.

Since Monday's discovery of the three missing girls in Cleveland, Burbrink said he's heard from family members here in Louisville who are hoping for a similar ending.

"Any time a high-profile case happens, you'll start getting phone calls from past victims," said Burbrink.

Burbrink said those calls are helpful because sometimes family members may have a new little nugget of information that could give detectives a new lead. For the detectives who work in missing persons, Burbrink said the job is hard. There is only so much they can do, including putting names and information about the missing in national databases and collecting DNA for potential identification. They'd like to be able do so much more for Haueter and others who share her pain.

"I think anything like this would give hope to somebody and we hope it does provide hope because we would like to provide them with some answers to their questions," said Burbrink.

"It is hard to picture, although it's what I want most in the world," Haueter said of a potential reunion with her daughter.


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