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PostSubject: Project Jason   Project Jason Icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2009 6:46 am

Project Jason also has a great listing of missing persons.


Jason Jolkowski

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On June 13, 2001, Jason was called in to work early. His car was in the shop all week, so he had no way to get to work in the morning. He told the manager that he would walk, but they called him back & made arrangements to meet at Benson High School, 8 blocks away from our home. Jason has a difficult time giving directions, & meeting at his former high school probably seemed logical to him. He showered & dressed, & was last seen by his little brother, Michael, bringing in the trash cans, as the trash pickup had taken place that morning. The neighbor also saw Jason taking the cans into the garage. Jason was wearing black dress shoes & black dress pants & carrying his red work t-shirt. He wore a white Chicago Cubs or Sammy Sosa t-shirt, & a blue Chicago Cubs baseball hat. This occurred at approximately 10:45 am. Within 30-45 minutes, the employer called our home to see if Jason was there, as he did not show up at the high school. No one has seen or heard from Jason since then. He has not touched his bank account, used his cell phone, picked up his checks from work, or inquired about or attempted to pick up his car from the body shop. He also was to have started a new job the following week, & he did not call or show up for the new job, which he was excited about. We estimate, based on the amount of his last check, & the deposit he made, that he didn't have more than $60 with him, if even that. Jason is a very shy individual & typically did not pursue social activities. For the most part, he was either at work or home. He did not appear to be interested in alcohol or drugs. He has a close relationship with his family, & it is hard to believe that he would purposely stay away without even contacting us, although we realize that this is not outside of the realm of possibilities. As we don't have any clues, anything is possible. We HOPE that it is just a case of Jason just wanting to get away from life's pressures for awhile as the alternative to that scenario is unbearable to think about. It just seems odd that if he had run away, that at the very least, he would have taken his checkbook or picked up his checks from work. As we have no leads, we are trying to reach every citizen because someone has to have seen him. We love our son and just want him back home with us.


Missing teen's parents help other families cope
Jason Jolkowski vanished on June 13, 2001, without cashing paycheck

Parents delayed calling police under mistaken belief they had to wait 24 hours

Case led to creation of statewide database, national nonprofit group

Know something? Call Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department at 402-444-5818

Mon September 28, 2009
By Rupa Mikkilineni
Nancy Grace Producer

(CNN) -- When their 19-year-old son, Jason, disappeared eight years ago, any concept of a normal life ceased for the Jolkowski family.

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Jason Jolkowski would be 28 today and might look like the man shown in this photograph.

Kelly and Jim Jolkowski and their other son, Michael, believed at first that Jason would walk through the front door of their Omaha, Nebraska, home at any moment. Now, every time a body is found somewhere, the news sets their hearts pounding.

To this day, police say they have no evidence of foul play. Nor, they say, do they have any evidence that Jason simply ran away. It is a bona fide mystery.

Kelly Jolkowski described her life in an open letter to her missing son a year ago: "We waited and hoped that you'd walk in the door ... and that the whole awful event would be over, but that didn't happen," she wrote. "It feels as if it never may end, and that we may have to wait for our life after this world to see you again." Watch a report on the case »

Since shortly after Jason's disappearance, the Jolkowskis have thrown their energy into raising public awareness about what to do when a loved one goes missing. After three years of lobbying, they were able to get a law passed in Nebraska creating a statewide missing persons database.

They founded a nonprofit organization called Project Jason, and its Web site tracks missing persons cases across the country. According to the site, Project Jason has distributed some 50,000 missing persons fliers since 2003.

"We feel that some good is coming out of Jason's story," Kelly Jolkowski told CNN. But she said she still hopes to find her son someday.

The last time anyone who knew him saw him, Jason Jolkowski was bringing the empty trash cans in from the curb. That was June 13, 2001. Since then, his cell phone has fallen silent and his bank account hasn't been touched. His last paycheck was never cashed.

Jason was 19 and attending community college part time. He had a job at a restaurant and wanted to be a disc jockey. On the day he disappeared, Jason and his younger brother, Michael, were on summer break from school. Their parents were at work, and the boys were home alone.

Jason worked at a restaurant called Fazoli's. His boss had called him that morning and asked him to come into work on his day off.

Jason's car was at the mechanic's shop, so his boss arranged a ride for him with a co-worker. She and Jason were to meet at a high school parking lot that was within walking distance from the Jolkowskis' home.

According to his mother, Jason had walked that seven-block route before. It took him along quiet, residential streets with little pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Jason was last seen at 10:15 that morning, standing at the end of his driveway. Less than an hour later, his boss called and spoke with Michael, complaining that Jason had not shown up for work and had never arrived at the high school to meet his ride.

His parents arrived home from work to learn that Jason had been missing all day. They called Jason's friends. None of them had seen or heard from him that day.

"Jason was a quiet boy," his mother said. "He only had a small handful of friends. He was shy."

Jason did not have a girlfriend and was not the sort of person to take risks, like hitching a ride with a complete stranger, his mother insisted.

His parents called police the next morning. Like so many people, the Jolkowskis mistakenly believed there was a 24-hour wait before police would accept a missing person's report.

"And then it took at least another 10 days before police took Jason's disappearance seriously," Kelly Jolkowski said. "They assumed this was a typical teen runaway scenario."

But according to the family, Jason did not have a history of running away and was not a troubled teen. He had no reason to run off. From the beginning, his family feared an accident or abduction.

Police began to interview neighbors and conducted searches 10 days after his disappearance, but valuable time had been lost, Kelly Jolkowski said.

"We'd have liked to see more activity in the first crucial hours, but we do feel they stepped up to the plate to do all they could and in the end, they did a proper investigation," the Jolkowskis said in a prepared statement. "We were pleased by the meetings they had with us, following up on any leads, talking to his friends, checking the computer and conducting interviews."

Despite mounted searches, ground searches, a helicopter and the use of infrared technology, there was no sign of Jason or any clues to his whereabouts. The family is not certain whether dogs were brought to track the route between the Jolkowski home and the high school. But his mother said she believes that if police had any evidence, they would have shared it with the family.

Detective Jim Shields of the Omaha Police Department said the case remains an open and active investigation.

"I know his parents have expressed concern about how the investigation was handled in the beginning," he said, "but in missing adult cases, often we wait a few days because adults have the right to come and go freely."

Police said they have no clues or evidence in the case. It is categorized as a missing person's case, and authorities have no evidence suggesting Jason is no longer alive. "We simply don't know and really hope for more tips," Shields said.

At the time he went missing, Jason would have only had about $60 on him, his mother said.

She speculated in her open letter about what his life might be like now.

"If you are still with us, you could be married and have children. You may have graduated from college and be pursuing a career," she wrote. "So many life events which normally happen with someone of your age may have passed by. We hope and pray that you haven't been cheated of the life you were meant to live."

Jason Jolkowski is described as 6 feet 1 inch and 165 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a Chicago Cubs T-shirt, black dress pants and black dress shoes. Anyone with information leading to his whereabouts is asked to call the Omaha police at 402-444-5818.


About the Founder and President of Project Jason, Kelly Jolkowski
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Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of Project Jason, is one of the foremost experts in the field of missing persons in the United States. She is one of the few non-law enforcement people trained at the criminal justice program at the premier college specializing in missing persons and has more than 100 hours of professional training on missing persons from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The U.S. Department of Justice and Fox Valley Technical College.

She has been a speaker at events for National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, at the National Sex Offender Management Conference, Fox Valley’s Uniting in the Search for the Missing, and the National Candlelight Vigil. She taught Project Jason's course on DNA and Missing Persons at the 2008 Cue Center Conference.

She frequently lectures about missing persons issues, law enforcement and missing persons, and the science of DNA and its benefits to finding missing persons.

She is also called to speak about laws affecting missing persons because of her leadership of Campaign for the Missing, which mandates how missing and unidentified persons are handled. It has been passed in eight states so far. She also speaks about her steerage of Jason’s Law, which mandated the creation of the Nebraska State Missing Person’s Clearinghouse.

In 2009, she was the recipient of the Keeper of the Flame award, given annually to law enforcement, business leaders, organizations, search personnel and/or volunteers who have risen above their daily duties in the field of missing persons and service to victims of homicide; persons who have shown great empathy and brought forth action for the cause. She also received a certificate of recognition from the Office of Victims of Crime for her work in the missing persons cause. She has appeared on the Montel Williams Show, Fox National Dayside News, numerous national and international radio shows, and in USA Today.

She has developed several unique awareness programs to help locate the missing, including the 18 Wheel Angels, Adopt a Missing Person, Awareness Angels Network, and Come Home. In addition, Kelly works daily with families of the missing nationwide through Project Jason and also with TEAM Hope, a branch of NCMEC.

Kelly’s work on behalf of families of the missing began in 2001 after her 19-year-old son, Jason, disappeared. At the time of his disappearance, Kelly and her husband Jim did not know where they could turn for assistance when Jason disappeared. There were many things that, had they known back then, they would have done differently to more quickly and effectively search in the hours and days that followed. And they could have used a sympathetic ear.

After their experience, they determined that where there are other families in such need, they would be there for them. To do so, they founded the nonprofit Project Jason, Assistance for Families of the Missing.

While her ultimate goal is to be able to work for Project Jason full time in order to serve more families of the missing, Jolkowski serves Project Jason in the hours surrounding her full time job. The efforts to find her son continue on as a regular, although not normal, part of her life.
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PostSubject: Re: Project Jason   Project Jason Icon_minitimeWed Oct 21, 2009 2:11 am

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Project Jason announces the featured missing persons in the October 2009 issue of the CDLJobs.com Online Magazine, which can be viewed at http://www.cdljobs.com/cdljobsonlinemagazine/OCT09.htm This month's ad is on page 10. The site receives thousands of visitors per day.

Each month, CDLJobs.com publishes a full color ad in their popular online magazine which will feature 5-6 of Project Jason's missing person cases from across the country. The ad has clickable links which take the reader to additional information about the missing person, and a link to their printable poster. Readers are encouraged to sign up for the AAN program and help with poster distribution. "You can be a Hero" is the theme of the joint venture.

Awareness Angels Network (AAN). AAN, begun by Project Jason in 2008, provides a way for the public to assist the families of missing persons. Missing persons posters designed specifically for the AAN program are disseminated via email to those enrolled in the program. Participants can then upload the posters to websites, print and place the posters in public areas, and forward them to their contacts. The program helps spread the word and increase the chances of finding the person.

In the October issue, the following missing persons were featured:

Peter Achermann, missing from Staples, MN since 7/24/2009

Katie Jo Brewer, missing from Bonham, TX since 9/12/2009

Emma Carroll, missing from Pembroke, GA since 7/18/2009

Patricia Viola, missing from Bogota, NJ, IL since 2/13/2001

Caleta White, missing from Tukwila, WA since 8/22/2006

You can read more about this program at http://projectjason.org/forums/index.php?topic=6319.0

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In life just like the carousel..... there's not another ride,
never is in black and white, real life and dreams collide.
Come ride the carousel with me.
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