SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Three families all searching for loved ones this holiday season are pleading for continued support and help finding their family members.
The families of Elizabeth Salgado, Nicole Harris, and Macin Smith came together to help and support each other as they continue their search for their loved ones. With the help of Elizabeth and Ed Smart they’re finding renewed strength and comfort.
“We are honored to be in the presence of these families,” says Joy Gonzalez, the sister of Nicole Harris.
Today for the first time ever these families addressed the media together at the Rio Tinto Stadium. This holiday season all three are struggling with the disappearance of a daughter, mother, and son.
“We continue to ask everyone as they’re out and about this holiday season to keep their eyes and ears open. If you see or hear anything please contact police,” said Donna Bates the aunt of Macin Smith.
Macin disappeared on September 1, 2015. After getting in an argument with his father before he disappeared he walked to a bus stop about half and hour from his home, but never got on the bus.
As his family searched his room they didn’t find any evidence to his whereabouts, until a few days later when they stumbled upon a letter Macin had written that worried his family.
Today, as they speak about their loved ones they recall their final moments with them and how hard life has been not having them near each and everyday.
“She said to me, Mother, don’t worry. I’m going to a country where there is order. Where there are laws, and nothing will go wrong,” Elizabeth Salgado’s mother, Libertad, recalls, “We never imagined this would happen to us.”
After only a few weeks in the United States, Elizabeth Salgado disappeared on April 16, 2015, as she was walking home from the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo.
The last person to speak with her was her uncle who was planning to pick her up later that evening to take her grocery shopping.
This afternoon, speaking to a room full of family members and cameras, they were full of emotion as they continue to wait in desperation not knowing where their loved ones are or even if they’re safe.
“Nicki, if you’re out there. I love you so much, your children love you, your family loves you, please come home,” said a tearful Kevin Harris, Nicole’s husband.
On the evening of October 24, 2015, Nicole Harris disappeared in Provo. Her family set up a massive search effort to find her and she was known to hike Rock Canyon Park.
With extensive media coverage and massive search efforts involved in all three of these cases, police say no new reliable leads have come forward and they continue to ask the public to remain vigilant.
The families say no bit of information is too small or insignificant and encourage anyone and everyone to come relay any information to police.
They say police don’t care about immigration status or any other factors that may deter someone from coming forward. They say the police only care about finding their loved ones.
But, these families say they find comfort in Elizabeth Smart and her story of survival. And she in turn encourages them to continue holding onto the one things that kept her alive: Hope.
“Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and it was finding the small things to keep me hanging on to, to keep me going,” she said.
The families say each day hope comes and goes, but the continued love and support from those who have helped, from the communities, and from the media keeping the focus on their loved ones, helps keep the hope alive.
There is a $1,000 reward with any information that leads to the whereabouts of Nicole Harris, as well as a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the whereabouts of Macin Smith. There is a $50,000 reward in the case of Elizabeth Salgado and any information to where she may be.
If you know anything or may have seen something suspicious in any of these cases you’re encouraged to contact police.