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Columbus' Missing Persons Cases

COLUMBUS (Tom Bosco) -- While Cleveland celebrates the rescue of three women missing for nearly a decade, the search continues in Columbus for thousands of missing people every year.

The Columbus Police Missing Persons Unit investigates nearly 6000 such cases every year.

Det. Jon Comson said while other divisions usually have the luxury of a crime scene and solid evidence, his unit has to start from scratch. Sometimes they are lucky enough to be able to use technology, such as GPS-enabled cell phones or a trail of credit card receipts, to search for the missing, often they are reduced to old-fashioned detective work, interviewing family members and friends.

Comson said the recovery of the three women in Cleveland is amazing. He said he can't believe no one saw something out of the ordinary sooner. Comson said his most valuable tools are the eyes and ears of the public.

Comson said every case is important to the six detectives in the unit.

"My oldest case is from 1987, we're still working on it," he said. "None of them gets put into a drawer and forgotten about."
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