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The Lake family needs closure

People disappear every day. You need only to search "missing people" on the Internet to see thousands of faces of loved ones lost somewhere, somehow.

People disappear every day. You need only to search "missing people" on the Internet to see thousands of faces of loved ones lost somewhere, somehow. And I rarely go a week at work without an email of some poor missing child's face and a plea from a family to help find them.

It's a sad and scary thing. But if I'm to be honest, I usually forget the face and name shortly after forwarding such emails to friends and family.

I was thinking about that the other day, about the way I can so easily dismiss what epitomizes one family's despair. I take a moment to say a prayer and then go on about my day. But the family of that lost person doesn't have the advantage of such a luxury.

I thought about what I would do if my child went missing, and even the thought sent me into a spin. What a helpless, desperate, unimaginably painful place that would be. Not knowing where my child was would cause me to think up all kinds of horrible scenarios, and leaving the case to the police wouldn't be an option for me.

All these thoughts brought me back to one missing persons case on the Coast that has yet to be solved - that of 80-year-old Rhody Lake, who went missing November 27, 2005 while on an afternoon walk from her home in Sandy Hook.

I think about Rhody often, as every day I drive by Porpoise Bay Provincial Park (the spot she was last seen). What makes this case different for me is that I wrote about the disappearance and had the opportunity to meet Rhody's family.

They were gracious and lovely and welcomed me into Rhody's home while search crews assembled outside and helicopters scanned the woods from overhead.

At that time, they were still hopeful their mother would be found alive and well. But as the days passed, their hope faded.

Many in the community came out to help search and post pictures of Rhody all over the Sunshine Coast.

It was assumed she had fallen off a pathway while on her walk, but to this day not one sign of Rhody has been found, not even a piece of clothing.

I can only imagine the family's pain and what scenarios they have dreamed up. Not knowing is one of the hardest things. Last week the family posted a reward of $25,000 for any information leading to Rhody's recovery.

It seems the community at large has forgotten about Rhody. Maybe it's because they don't feel a connection to her or the family. But I ask you to think about your own mother disappearing in such a way. What would you do? Would you ache for the community to help you find her? Someone has to know something. The last person seen talking to Rhody still hasn't stepped forward, and no new information has surfaced.

When Rhody disappeared, her family thinks she may have been wearing a blue and yellow vest, brown cords, brown hiking boots and an orange or beige toque. She may also have been carrying a walking stick. If you saw anyone matching this description that day, phone the police. If you've heard a rumour, phone the police. If you think you can help stop this family's pain, phone the police.

The Lake family needs some closure so they can start mending their lives. Please don't forget.