Success cited in effort to find missing, endangered children

Second girl featured in ‘Picture Them Home’ returns

By JENNIFER MENSTER
Record Staff Writer
December 14, 2005

BLACK MOUNTAIN – A family in Black Mountain got an early Christmas gift
this past weekend.

Their 17-year-old daughter, Samantha Stinson, came home. The teen ran
away Dec. 20, 2004.

Several companies in Hickory helped search for the girl. Samantha’s photo
was posted on vehicles belonging to Servpro of Hickory, Republic GDS,
Roto Rooter of Hickory, HBR Motorsports and the Catawba County Chamber of
Commerce. It’s part of the “Picture Them Home” campaign started in May.

Stinson was the second girl featured in the program. Her photo was placed
on the vehicles about five weeks ago.

“We can’t say if it was a contributing factor,” said John Burchfield,
Black Mountain police chief. “The more eyes looking, the better it is.”

Scott Davis, who helped develop the program and is employed with Servpro,
feels the campaign had an effect on Samantha’s return.

“It’s amazing,” Davis said. “We hope we do this each and every time. It’s
not always going to happen, but we are going to try.”

Davis plans to print the word “Recovered” on Samantha’s photo so
community members and businesses can see the program is working. Davis
also hopes it encourages more businesses to get involved when another
missing or endangered runaway is placed on service vehicles in early
January.

The first girl featured for “Picture Them Home” was Asha Degree. Degree
went missing from her Cleveland County home five years ago. Asha’s photo
was on the service vehicles for about five months.

For more information about “Picture Them Home,” call Davis at 322-4400 or
302-5298.

© 2005 Media General Inc

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