FindCarrie - AGH - Missing & Murdered Person Blog

Information on missing and murdered people and the issues surrounding their cases. ***No material on this site is to be redistributed or rewritten - Copyright Find Carrie Culberson***

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Find Carrie - Angel Garden of Hope Wins Award For Keeper of the Flame

Nearly three weeks ago our group attended the third annual CUE Conference for the Missing in Wilmington, North Carolina. Each year, law enforcement, advocates, and families of those missing and murdered attend this conference to learn about missing person issues and to connect with others. This year the title of the conference was titled "Bridging the Gap" and I thought the title was so appropriate.

This year, unlike last year, was very warm and beautiful outside. It was picture perfect weather outside for having the second annual vigil and missing person wall that was held on the second day of the conference.

To my suprise, our group was given an award by CUE Center for "Keeper of the Flame" for our efforts to assist those the families of those missing and lost. At first, I didn't think I should write about this in our blog because I didn't want to appear as if we were bragging about this, but the more I thought about this, the more I realized that this award was not about me or my group, it was about Carrie Culberson and how she's changed our lives. So, with that being said, I wanted to share with you the highlights of why our group was at this meeting and what winning that award really meant to all of us.

This year some people I've been communicating with for a few months online decided to attend this conference. They were first timers and didn't know what to expect. The first family was that of Patty Brightwell Vaughan who vanished on Christmas day 1996. Even though there has been a mountain of evidence, there has yet to be a conviction to the last person to see her alive. I will not name him. Patty's sister traveled 18 hours from Texas to be at the conference and I'm so very glad she did. After months of talking online and building the website for Patty, I felt as if she was family already.

The second family who came to the conference was the family of Christie Wilson from California who just won a conviction this last October 2005 against a man that Christie was last seen leaving a casino with when she vanished forver. Chrisitie's murderer was convicted without her body and taken OFF the streets. Her parents Pat and Debbie Boyd flew from Southern California to join the CUE Conference and it was their first time. I was glad to see them there. Surely we have something in common with both Christie and Carrie missing, and winning a conviction without their bodies.

Some of the classes that were taught this year were regarding GPS, Crime Scene Preservation, and most everyone's favorite teacher, David Van Norman of the San Berdino California Coroner's Office who taught us about missing and unidentifieds.
What I want everyone to understand is that with each visitor to this conference all the others that are happening throughout the year, is that we are searching for something important. For our group, we are searching for Carrie and we cannot give up until find her. Our duty will not end once she's located, but a great burden will be lifted once she's found and brought home. Carrie is the driving force behind all of the miles we travel, all the interviews we give, and all the assistance we give to help others. We cannot forget about the one person who changed everything for me and my family. She's the reason that brought us to know all these wonderful people and she's the reason that we developed the knowledge to help others when somebody they love turns up missing.
I thank the CUE Center for recognizing our efforts to help others, but actually this award wasn't for us, it was for Carrie, who changed everything for me and my family. I'll never stop looking until I find you.
Related Links:
See Additional Photos From the Conference HERE

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