Yvonne Ambrose is the mother of Desiree Robinson, who was lured away from home, then exploited and enslaved through sex trafficking. Desiree was murdered December 24, 2016, as she fought to escape the perpetrator to whom her trafficker first sold her, primarily via the now-defunct Backpage site. Yvonne vowed to be her daughter’s voice, in support of all victims of child sex trafficking, and has been instrumental through her work with law enforcement and congressional testimony to strengthen federal laws against traffickers. Yvonne describes her daughter as “a beautiful girl born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, with a smile to brighten any room. She had a bright future with hopes of being a physician in the U.S. Air Force.” For more, visit the Desiree Foundation Against Sex Trafficking page on Facebook.
Elaine Hall is the mother of Dylan Redwine, 13, who was murdered by his biological father in November 2012. After a relentless search effort driven by the steadfast commitment of his mother, Dylan’s remains were found in La Plata County, Colorado, in June 2013, just miles from the home of Dylan’s father. Elaine’s work with local and state law enforcement and district attorney’s offices in her home state of Colorado has resulted in better awareness and understanding of, and training on, endangered missing children for law enforcement and search personnel. See the Dylan Redwine: Journey to Justice page on Facebook here.
Dr. Noelle Hunter is the mother of Maayimuna “Muna” N’Diaye, who in December 2011 was abducted internationally by her noncustodial father. Noelle’s Mission4Muna campaign led her to rally local, state, federal, and international resources; stage protests in front of the Embassy of Mali in Washington, D.C.; plead with the United Nations to help return her daughter; and work with a Kentucky congressional delegation to pressure the Mali government to return Muna. (“Until she’s home, I won’t sit down, I won’t be quiet,” she attested.) Noelle was able to bring Muna safely home in July 2014, and founded the iStand Parent Network.
Jeffery Morehouse is the father of Atomu Imoto “Mochi” Morehouse, who was abducted internationally by his noncustodial mother on Father’s Day 2010. Since that terrible day, Jeffery, an award-winning filmmaker, has worked relentlessly to find Mochi and bring his son home through complex and discerning work with local, state, federal, and international law enforcement. Jeffery is a founding partner and executive director of the nonprofit organization Bring Abducted Children Home, working for the return of abducted children wrongfully detained in Japan. Every day for him is ﬁlled with painful reminders of his son—“a familiar phrase, a look, or smell can remind me of life before my son’s abduction. Then I realize he’s still missing.”
Colleen Nick is the mother of Morgan Nick, who at age 6 was kidnapped from a Little League baseball game while catching fireflies with friends. Since that day (June 9, 1995), finding Morgan has been a steadfast priority for her and her family. In 1996, Colleen became CEO of the Morgan Nick Foundation, which has assisted thousands of families in crisis, successfully providing intervention, support, and reunification assistance to missing children, missing adults, and their families. She is also a nationally recognized advocate for missing children and adults; the co-founder of NCMEC’s Team HOPE, a peer support mentoring program for families of the missing; and the embodiment of unwavering hope. Learn more via the documentary, “Still Missing Morgan.”
Ahmad Rivazfar is the father of Sara, brutally murdered by her custodial mother’s boyfriend on September 22, 1988. Sara’s older sister, Sayeh, was badly beaten in the incident, but miraculously survived. Ahmad emigrated to the U.S. from Iran in 1976, joining the U.S. Navy and becoming a decorated pilot. He believes his heritage played a key role in the girls’ reported abuse not being taken seriously, and for “being treated like I was the criminal during the investigation.” Since Sara’s death, Ahmad has served other families of missing children through NCMEC’s Team HOPE and the Surviving Parents Coalition. Read more about Ahmad’s family tragedy here.
Nacole Svendgard is the mother of Jessika, who was lured away from home and trafficked in 2010. Nacole struggled with navigating the law enforcement process; not knowing her daughter’s whereabouts; and later, how to appropriately handle the family’s reunification with Jessika. Through the journey of recovery, Nacole and Jessika have become powerful advocates for victims of sex trafficking and have been instrumental in the passage of legislation to increase victim rights, issue harsher punishments for sex offenders, and shut down websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Nacole recently told her daughter, “I could not be prouder of the woman, mother, and advocate you’ve become. Your resiliency is inspirational.” Learn more via the documentaries “I Am Jane Doe” and “The Long Night.”
Patty Wetterling is the mother of Jacob Wetterling, abducted at age 11 on October 22, 1989, by a masked gunman near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She and her husband, Jerry, would later create the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, dedicated to ensuring child safety. Patty co-founded and is past director of NCMEC’s Team HOPE, and has shared countless victim impact sessions with law enforcement across the United States. On September 1, 2016—almost 27 years after his abduction—Jacob’s remains were found, and his abductor charged with murder. Jacob’s zest for life is embodied in “Jacob’s 11,” which promotes 11 of his most endearing traits.
– Denise Gee Peacock