Sometimes life just turns in a direction which challenges the very essence of reason and reality.
Imagine a life lived with no understanding of what has happened to a family member who just left the house to visit a friend and was never seen again. Vanished, gone from existence without explanation, goodbye, or any record of what she did and where she went for almost 37 years.
This writer came upon this story as she does many. One day an Email showed up and a story unfolded as it was presented by Sharonrose Zane-Nau. Now, married and 42 years old with a family of her own, she still searches for information about the sister who at 16 disappeared without a trace.
As the days unfolded, more questions arose. The more research which was completed, the more questions arose. Research for this article continued to tell a complicated story. It continued to run in the same circle and produce the same information over and over. There was nothing which revealed any answers about the disappearance of April Rose Zane.
If the hunt for answers was so frustrating and stressful for me, in just the short period of time I have been on the case, how much more frustrating must it be for Sharonrose.
Sharonrose greets each with a new hope, pain fueled by the unknown knowledge about her sister, and a strong desire to continue searching for answers. She greets each day with a never ending commitment to find her sister. At the very least, learn what had become of her sister. Each day ends with more questions than answers and more frustration built from continuing this quest. Yet, she can’t give up.
This article will not tell a happy story and will offer no happy ending. What it will do is show the suffering a person goes through who lives from one day to another with a cloud of despair which never fades. Living each day with the emptiness brought on by not knowing or understanding what happened to a family member loved, missed, but never forgotten.
This article is about raising awareness about missing kids and family members. It looks at what it is like for families of these missing persons who are missing for many years.
Sharonrose is not the only person in America who has a loved who has been missing for more than 20 years. Some do find happy endings, but many more families continue to wait for answers which may never come. They don’t give up, they just keep searching.
This author has gained an admiration for those people who refuse to give up their searches for their missing loved ones. They show a form of courage few of us could ever master or embrace. They are people who continue a quest which produces little accomplishment while holding on to each glimmer of hope like a life raft. They are dedicated to a quest built on love and family commitment which remains undaunted after years of agonizing effort.
The first section titled, April Rose Zane’s Disappearance, presents information which is known about April Rose Zane’s disappearance as it is told to me by Sharonrose Zane-Nau. It will detail efforts made by Sharonrose to find her sister, April Rose Zane. It will show the continuing efforts which provide no details.
The second section titled, What Keeps Hope Alive, presents information which details how Sharonrose and others, like her, manage to hold on to hope during this heart wrenching quest which seems to have no end. What fuels the drive to continue this journey with no answers?
The third section titled, A Plea for Help, seeks information about April and implores the reader to spread the word about April and others who remain missing. It will offer information where readers can go to report information, get help with a missing loved one, or to learn more about missing kids and adults.
The fourth section titled, The Road Ahead, will deal with the impact this story and others like it have had on this writer. Another avenue opens and reveals another road of awareness to be traveled upon.
The fifth and final section titled, Resources, will list all the links to any information used in this article and will give other information gained in the research of this article.
This article is one which raises awareness of missing persons who have been missing for many years, presents information which may help us gain information about April’s disappearance, and declares it time for everyone to help find those who are lost. No family member should have to live with more questions than answers about their missing loved ones. Someone somewhere knows something.
April Rose Zane’s Disappearance
The information in this section of the article comes from Sharonrose Zane-Nau herself. The information came from Emails received from her personally and phone communications which I had with her.
Information in this section is here to give as many details as can be given about April and her disappearance in the hopes that readers of this article, who may know something about what happened to April Rose Zane, will share their information with the Frankfort Police Department.
Sharonrose Zane-Nau has been dealing with the disappearance of her sister April since April 18, 1976. On April 18, 1976, the day was a good one for little Sharon, who was only 6 years old. It was Easter Sunday and her Dad’s Birthday. Little did she know, this would be the last day Sharonrose would see her sister, April.
Her name was April Rose Zane. April was born on February 25, 1960 in Chicago, IL. The neighborhood in Chicago was Roseland Chicago. Times were changing and the Zane parents decided it was time to move their family out of the madness of the city.
April was eleven years old in 1971 when Mr. and Mrs. Zane moved their family to Frankfort, IL. It was a rural area, and they believed it would be a much safer place to finish raising their children. Mr. Zane still worked for the IC Railroad in Chicago.
April did not like the move and missed her friends back in the city. She just didn’t seem to adapt well to this new rural location. She began and continued to run away from home in Frankfort back to Roseland Chicago and other outlying areas (these include; Hegewisch, Riverdale, and Calumet City) where her friends from the city had moved.
The day April Rose Zane disappeared was a day of celebration. It was Easter Sunday, April 18, 1976 and Mr. Zane’s birthday. (On all the reports it lists the date of April’s disappearance as one year later which is April 18, 1977. Sharonrose is sure it was the year before and remembers the day like it was yesterday. It is easy to understand how it would stand out in a little girl’s mind since there was so much activity going on during a time of celebration.) They went with their Grandmother’s house to take her a Lily for Easter. When the Zane’s returned home, April told her mother she was going up town to see a friend.
Before April left, while Sharonrose was standing at the top of the stairs, April said, “See you later kid. I’ll be back.”
This was the last time anyone ever saw April again. The words spoken were the last words Sharon was to hear from her sister, April.
During the evening, the house was filled with people who were close to the Zane’s and were considered as part of the family. A big dinner was planned and April never showed up for this dinner. The night progressed little Sharonrose went to bed, but April still did not show up.
The Zane parents did what any parent would do by plastering April’s picture everywhere. Flyers and milk cartons donned the picture of this missing girl. Law enforcement was talked to, but little reliance on them could be gained. Their indifference possibly comes from the fact that April had run away before or maybe because they saw her as someone unimportant. Maybe just simple mistakes or a lack of technology and resources was the reason they seemed not eager to help this family find their missing loved one. At any rate, little was done outside the family. These parents went to their graves with unanswered questions. (Both, Mr. and Mrs. Zane died back in January, 2003.)
To this day no information has been revealed about what happened to April that day. In spite of all the efforts and time spent by her parents before they died and Sharonrose’s continued efforts after they had died.
Sharonrose Zane-Nau, the now 42 year old sister, has used modern technology and resources to continue the efforts to find information which could help her understand what happened to her sister.
Sharonrose was able to get DNA done on her to see if it compares to any Jane Doe’s in the National Database in Washington, D.C. This was one thing the local Police Department did do to help her find information about her sister.
With help from Richard Leonard, Forensic Case Manager at National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Sharonrose was able to get age progression photos done on April. His phone number and Email address are below.
I have talked to Richard Leonard and found him to be very sympathetic to April Rose Zane’s disappearance and Sharonrose’s plight to find out what happened to her sister. He said, “We never give up because there is always a chance that someone will come forward or new information will be found.”
Richard Leonard, Forensic Case Manager, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Now, the campaign to find April has gone international. Beginning with Canada, and including several other countries Sharon is stepping out to get the word out wherever possible to find information about April’s disappearance.
For more information from Sharonrose Zane-Nau herself you can visit the following links. The first one is a conversation and post at Websleuths.com. The second one is an article which Sharonrose Zane White wrote and posted on Runaway Lives. Both links to this information are listed below.
What Keeps Hope Alive
A lot of people out there may be asking themselves, what keeps hope alive for this woman who refuses to give up the search for her sister, April? After talking with Sharonrose Zane-Nau on several occasions and corresponding with her in Emails, I found her to be a highly motivated woman. She has a driving determination which is built on love and family commitment. It has been almost 37 years since April told her sister Sharonrose she would be back, and she won’t rest until she finds out what has happened to her sister.
For almost 37 years April has been missing. Since Sharonrose Zane-Nau turned 18, she has painstakingly looked; has tried everything at her disposal; and has used every resource she could acquire to find out what happened to April.
In 2003, an article was written about Sharon’s search for her sister.
( Click on the following link to view this poster. Printed in The Herald News – Joliet(IL); August 28, 2003 |written by John Whiteside. To find this article on line you have to subscribe to the High Beam Research Service. I did it for the sole purpose of acquiring this article to add credibility to this article and to use as an aid in finding information about April. This information is only to be used for the purpose of finding April and raising awareness about missing people. I have gained permission to use this article for this purpose.)
Another article was written several years before this one, but efforts to acquire it has been in vain. This writer has worked diligently to find information about April’s disappearance. There is little to find. The research just took me down the same road leading around in the same circle. Sharonrose tells me that it has been this way for all the years she has been searching for her sister.
So, why does Sharonrose Zane-Nau keep searching to only keep ending up with more questions than answers? She does it because she loves her sister, and sometimes a story comes along which restores hope when it seems all hope is lost.
Sharonrose Zane-Nau knows she is not the only person who has dealt with the tragedy of a missing family member for so many years.
Recently a story came out which was very similar to the one Sharonrose Zane-Nau tells about her search for her sister April Rose Zane. It shows that, even after 37 years, a case can be solved. The answers gained did not provide a happy ending of Priscilla Ann Blevins being found alive or anything that miraculous, but at least her older sister got to bury her sister and find the closure which has been missing for so many years. (The complete story is available at the following link;http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/02/3637127/police-solve-charlotte-1975-missing.html.)
The story of Priscilla Blevins gave Sharonrose Zane-Nau new hope in her search for her sister April. She now knows there could be someone out there who knows something about the disappearance of April
Rose Zane. Maybe, after all these years, someone out there could finally come forward with new information to explain what happened to April. It is possible, and this hope has added new fuel in the search for April Rose Zane by those of us who believe we should never give up on doing all we can to help Sharonrose Zane-Nau find answers and closure to long battle.
Critics and skeptics may say it is a waste of effort. If no information has been found by now, it doesn’t
exist. For Sharonrose Zane-Nau, Richard Leonard, and this writer, there is still hope, and we are not giving up.
The story of Priscilla Blevins is not the only story of missing people found after many years. While doing the research for this article, I ran across another amazing story of a missing boy found and was actually still alive after almost 20 years. A boy who was abducted by his grandparents was found to be alive and living in another state under an assumed name. This boy named Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was taken in Indiana in 1994 and was found in Minnesota living under the name of Michael Jeff Landers January, 2013, and is now 24. (You can read the complete story about this case by visiting the following link: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/11/nearly-20-years-after-grandparents-abducted-him-in-indiana-man-found-living-in-minnesota-under-assumed-name/.)
Sharonrose Zane=Nau has given most of her life to the cause of searching for her sister. She does this out of love, family commitment, and strong determination to learn what happened to her sister. She will do this regardless of the results and where it leads her. Any information at all is better than not knowing anything.
To those who do not know the pain of living each day not knowing what happened to a loved one who disappeared, it may seem crazy to keep hope alive and continue searching. When do you give up on the loved one who remains missing? For Sharonrose Zane-Nau and many like her the answer is very simple; never.
A Plea for Help
Has this writer tugged at your heart stings? Have you realized there are a lot of people out there searching for answers to questions about missing loved ones with no end in sight? How do you think you would feel if the loved one missing for so many years was someone in your own family?
This section of this article is meant to encourage people who read this article to take a proactive approach to the problem of missing kids and adults. Today, the threats are all around us, and we go about our business and personal lives like nothing can touch us. Well, believe there are things happening all the time which makes little or no sense. People vanish and disappear all the time. Kids are missing and parents suffer a loss while they wait, watch, and search for answers to questions no parent ever thinks they will have to ask.
As of December 31, 2011, NCIC contained 85,158 active missing person records. (Taken from the following link; http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic/ncic-missing-person-and-unidentified-person-statistics-for-2011. You may obtain other surprising information on the above page at the FBI National Crime Information Center.)
Where is my child? Is he/she alive? What happened to them? These questions and many like them keep parents and loved ones of missing kids and adults awake all hours of the day and night. They anguish over the lost soul they love who seems lost in some kind of abyss. Gone without a trace, or lost in some kind of maze where they are unable to be found.
Sharonrose Zane-Nau is a real person who has been searching for most of her life for her sister, April Rose Zane. After reading this article and seeing the pictures of April provided with this article, the hope of this writer is that someone will come forward who knows what happened to April.
The time spent, in preparation for this article and the final writing of it, is only a fraction of time compared to the time a family member spends just wondering what has happened to a missing loved one. It takes just a little of our time to help keep hope alive for so many people who keep searching through an utter blackness for some glimmer of light telling them something about the one who has gone missing.
Read through the information, look at the pictures provided with this article, read the poster included with this article, put all the information together and see if it triggers any memories. If you know something or a memory is triggered to provide any answers to the disappearance of April Rose Zane, please contact the Frankfort, IL Police Department at 815-469-4935. (Case #: M08A6669…NamUs MP #: 1689)
If you truly do not know anything about this missing girl, there is still plenty you can do to help. Spread the word about her and all missing people who you learn about. Spread their information across the Internet, Emails, cell phones, or any other media sources which you have the opportunity to use. Let, families of missing kids and adults find closure and information to lie to rest their endless nightmares.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead for Sharonrose Zane-Nau is to continue her never ending quest to find answers about her Sister’s disappearance. This quest will continue as long as there is life in her body or she finally discovers the truth as painful as it may be. As she put it, “I just can’t give up until I know what happened to my sister April. Any answers are better than not knowing anything.”
The road ahead for this writer is to include helping families of missing children and adults in whatever capacity I am able. As busy as I may be, I have managed to find time to take up the banner to increase awareness and to take part in the search for April Rose Zane. With this article, I plan to make missing children and adults a priority added to my long list. I will show support and spread the word about those who are missing as the opportunity arises.
As with all my writing, this writer learns more than may have been shared with the information written. Writing is a teacher in and of itself if we are receptive to the knowledge we gain during the experience.
This article has been one of the hardest to write, but certainly one of the most rewarding ones. To offer hope and help to those who need it the most is always my quest.
My sincere hope is to offer to readers this chance to make a difference in people’s lives through help, support, and encouragement. Take up the banner and help these people find hope to ease their minds and hearts. Missing children and adults exist, and it is never too late for someone to begin helping those in need.
Those are used with this article.
Personal interviews with Sharonrose Zane-Nau, sister of April Rose Zane missing since April 18,1976 and Richard Leonard Richard Leonard, Forensic Case Manager, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; (703) 778-6478; RLeonard@NCMEC.ORG.
Pictures used with this article are being used to find information about April Rose Zane and to raise awareness of the issue of missing persons. Permission to use these items was provided by Sharonrose Zane-Nau surviving sister of April and Richard Leonard, who created the age progression photos to help in the search for April Rose Zane and to gain information about her disappearance.
If you have any information about April Rose Zane or any information about her disappearance please call the Frankfort, IL Police Department at 815-469-4935.
Links used in this article:
Link to Sharonrose Zane-Nau’s post at Websleuths.com.
Link to an article Sharonrose Zane-Nau posted at Runaway Lives.
In 2003, an article was written about Sharon’s search for her sister.
Printed in The Herald News – Joliet (IL); August 28, 2003 |written by John Whiteside.
Story about Priscilla Ann Blevins
Story about Richard Wayne Landers Jr
NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics for 2011
Resources all about April Rose Zane
To help find April Rose Zane you may download the poster directly from NamUs. This poster is permitted to be used in finding information about April Rose Zane and to raise awareness of the problem of missing persons.
Click on the following link to download the poster.
If you need help, information, or just want to learn more about helping missing persons here are some resources which could help you.
National Missing Persons Directory
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Doe Network
The Charley Project
Amber Alert System
National Missing and Unidentified Person’s System