MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Law enforcement officers from around Alabama were in Montgomery on Tuesday hoping to gather what they can to help solve missing person cases through the second annual Missing Persons Seminar.
"It's a life changing event. It made my life a living hell," said Walter Arrington, Jr.
Oct. 30, 1998 is a day Arrington will never forget. That afternoon his daughter Kimberly, 16 at the time, went walking from the house to a store and somewhere in between she vanished.
For the past 18 years though he hasn't given up, continuing to search, hoping one day he will bring her home.
"I've been looking for some closure on her hoping that she's still alive," says Arrington.
"I'm hopeful," added Pam Riley Bolden. Her daughter, Laquantra, disappeared 12 years ago.
Bolden says although it has been heartbreaking through the years, she believes one thing time has helped with is how families and law enforcement work together.
"This is what it's going to take to set those boundaries and draw the line and tell the predators and people who are doing these things, not our children, not here in Alabama," exclaimed Bolden.
Bolden helped create the missing persons seminar, along with Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
More than 100 officers from across the state learned about steps to take and techniques that may create leads. They also learned about the national missing and unidentified persons system known as NamUS.
"There are resources out there for families, so don't try to bear the burden alone," said Mike Nance with NamUS.
Investigators also met with family members who have missing loved ones to gather more information, DNA, and enter them into NamUS.
"I'm quite optimistic that we will come up with something this year," adds Arrington.
If you have someone who is missing, you can enter them into the missing persons database.