16 December, 2008

From our Holliston's site, Zero.Gossip...

Live In The Phoenix Area? Help Reunite A Daughter With Her Mom

Miranda last saw her mother July 18, 1996. Joyce and her husband were divorced and Joyce would see Miranda and her sister about every other weekend.

Joyce and Miranda at the age of 4

Alcohol tore into the family and overtook Joyce. Her alcoholism shattered the family and she went to live with her brother in Marion, Ohio after the divorce. Despite her demons, Miranda said she was a good mom. Unfortunately, her last memory of her mother isn't a good one.

"She came to visit for her birthday. We went out to eat and she was intoxicated. She made a scene and had a falling out with my older sister. I told her that she really needed to quit drinking and get it together."  Remember, Miranda was just 13 at the time. 

Joyce left on good terms and returned to her brother's home telling Miranda she would call her when she arrived. She never called. Her brother told Miranda that Joyce did come home, packed her things and moved out without saying where she was going. "Due to her alcoholism, she burnt out the family so when she said she was leaving on the spur of the moment, no one thought much of it," Miranda said. "But while everyone in the family wasn't surprised with her behavior, my mom and I were very close and there was no reason for her to up and take off." 

It was several years before anyone heard from Joyce. "About 6 years ago, I told my aunt, my mother's sister that I was trying to find her. She told me that my mother called her in 1997 whispering on the phone saying she had gone to Arizona with the hopes of getting sober. Some people had offered her help but that now she was being held against her will by a cult." Her aunt couldn't tell if she was under the influence or if she was in an unstable state of mind. Miranda's father told her Joyce had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder so that, coupled with her drinking past made the family question anything she said.

"In 1999 someone told me that if I wrote a letter through the Social Security Administration, they would forward it to her if they had any records of her," Miranda said. It worked. "She called me in April that year. She told me that it was true she had been held by a cult and she was now sober. She said she was helping an older man in assisted living. She sounded really upbeat. We corresponded for about 2 weeks. In May, I called her on Mothers Day at the man's house and he said she asked him to drop her off at a shelter and he hadn't heard from her since."

There was no more communication for 5 years. Miranda tried the Social Security route again and sent another letter. Joyce made a collect call but Miranda wasn't home. She left a message saying she would call back. She didn't. Miranda had the phone company trace the call and it came from a pay phone at the Westward Ho building in Phoenix. The building houses senior citizens. That message was the last time Miranda heard from her mother. The same can't be said about the Phoenix Police. Joyce was arrested in 2007 on a petty theft charge but never appeared for court. Her address at the time was listed as transient. She hasn't been heard from by anyone since.

"The Phoenix Police wouldn't do anything to help me locate her. They told me that she's an adult and if I had heard from her periodically, they wouldn't consider her missing. I was at a loss."  In November, the police officially listed Joyce as a missing person.

Joyce's daughter Miranda

Miranda took to the internet posting on Phoenix forums, missing person sites, just about any place she could think of.
To Anyone Who Reads This:

My name is Miranda Rhuda. I am 25 years old and I am from Ohio.
In 1996, my mother Joyce Darlene Patterson, age 53, went missing from Ohio. 
Since that time, I have continually searched for her with no assistance and no outcome. Recently, I found public records with her name and date of birth listed online. She is in Phoenix (somewhere). The last address given to the police in September 2007, was 813 W. Madison Street. This address is an industrial building which is boarded up. I know this because a man named Jeff Knapp, who is doing homeless ministries, has assisted me in checking it out.

I believe that she may be homeless. She may be a drifter. In the past, she has been an alcoholic and has had very serious mental issues. I really need to find her for family reasons and mostly so that I can get her off the streets and get her treatment. There is no reason for her to be homeless and/or stealing to provide for herself. She is 5 ft. tall, 117 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes. Her Date of Birth is 07/18/1956.

I am enclosing pictures of her. I would appreciate any help that you may be able to give me. If you could please post this somewhere or forward it on to someone who may be able to help me, I would greatly appreciate it.

If you or anyone else, has any information, please send me an email atmisswriter415@aol.com or call me at 567-219-0095. I can also be reached by mail at the following: Miranda N. Rhuda, 415 Dewey Street, Sandusky, Ohio, 44870.

Thank you and God Bless,
Miranda Rhuda
While all of this paints a tragic story. There is still time to fix it. That's the message Miranda hopes her mother somehow gets. Joyce, if you are reading this, your daughter has been looking for you for 12 years. No matter how bad you think things were, she wants nothing more than to help you. At the very least she wants to know you're ok. She has three kids who ask her where her mommy is. As much as she would love to jump on a plane and come to Arizona to look for you, she can't. Remember the times you spent with Miranda doing crafts, teaching her to bake? Remember walking to the dollar store to buy her a coloring book? Miranda does. It may seem impossible to repair the damage done or to get back the lost years. Nothing is impossible. You have family who not only want to help you, they need to help you. You just have to take that leap of faith. Miranda has a lot of pictures of you and her when she was young. The last photo she has of you is a mug shot. It's time to come home.

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