East Tenn. mother finds hope after missing women are found

East Tenn. mother finds hope after missing Cleveland women are found alive

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Charles Toliver went missing in 2000. Charles Toliver went missing in 2000.
Constance Toliver has been looking for her son for 13 years. Constance Toliver has been looking for her son for 13 years.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - Nationally, there are hundreds of thousands of reports of missing people and a lot of families still seeking answers.

Now, after three women who had been missing for more than a decade were found alive Cleveland, other parents in East Tennessee have new hope.

Investigators tell 6 News it is rare to find a person alive years after being abducted. Often the missing person is found a few days later, and all too often they aren't found alive.

But the story of rescue in Ohio is giving some parents a new chance to hope.

"That's the tin of fudge I made Charlie for Christmas in 2000 the first year he went missing and I'll hang on to it until he comes home," said Constance Toliver.

Toliver has been waiting 13 years for her son Charles to come home. He disappeared in February of 2000 at the age of 30.

Charles was last seen in Oak Ridge. Constance filed the report when she didn't hear from her son.

"Charlie always called. He always let us know something," said Toliver.

Thirteen years have passed since she last heard from her son. Constance can imagine how the parents of the women who went missing for more than a decade in Ohio feel today.

"Those parents of those girls must be so thankful to God and so grateful that those girls are alive," said Toliver.

Lt. Patrick Upton with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office investigates missing person cases. Loudon County gets an average of 50 reports a year.

Lt. Upton says the Ohio case is an example of how captors can manipulate their victims.

"Once these people are taken, automatically they are just scared to death and over the years the captors teach them that they are not supposed to leave," said Lt. Upton.

The rescue in Ohio gives Constance strength. She hopes her son is eventually found alive and well.

Constance has imagined what it would be like to see her son again and knows how the women's parents are feeling.

"The parents of these girls must be just wanting to hold them and hug them and tell them how much they've thought about them all these years," said Toliver.

Lt. Upton says missing person reports are handled on a case by case basis. He says if signs or instincts point to foul play, he will start investigating a missing person case immediately. There is no mandatory 48 hour waiting period.

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