CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Two Evansdale girls are the latest added to a long list of missing persons across the nation. The state of Iowa keeps a database of missing persons and you can find that information online.
An annual report in 2011 shows more than 5,000 missing persons were reported last year in the state. Those numbers includes amber alerts, operation quickfinds, and even people who were later found.
The longer someone has been missing, the less likely they'll be found. 99% of all missing kids in Iowa last year fall under an unspecified category. That means they're either a runaway or investigators simply don't know what happened to them.
"Your evidence trail starts to diminish the longer that you wait," said Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.
Initially investigators can use an Amber Alert if they have a specific vehicle description and suspect description. They can issue an Operation Quickfind, but that's only useful hours after a child's been missing. Or they end up here, an online database easily found under a simple Google search that shows the faces of the Iowa children still missing.
Like Erin Pospisil, 15, who got into a friend's van in 2001 and was never seen again. Each year her family gathers for a balloon release to remember Erin. Her stepmother once shared her hopes with KCRG back in 2009.
"You think, every year, this will get easier. Every year, Christmas will get easier or birthdays will get easier. This day will get easier. It doesn't," said Erin Pospisil's stepmother Carolyn Pospisil.
It's the emotion from families Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says investigators share, and that's why they continue looking.
"We never really close a case. There may just be that we've exhausted the leads that we have. And there's no way to take it forward at this point in time," said Gardner.