Searching for a missing brother

Family reunited with help of Missing Persons department

By Lois Sellars

A family reunited: (L-R) Doug, Walter, Scott, and Donna (Photo courtesy of Missing Persons department)

Donna first contacted the Western Territory’s Missing Persons department in July 2009, hoping that we could help her locate her brother, Walter, whom she hadn’t seen for over six years. She was concerned about him.

We continued the search for Walter throughout 2009 and 2010, until finally, in November 2010, we reached our missing person.

Here Donna writes about how this process—and the ultimate reunion—impacted her family’s life:

I found my brother, Walter Shelton, with the help of The Salvation Army. He had been missing for about six or seven years. After recalling that my brother had worked for The Salvation Army a few years ago, I talked to my friends, Mike and Elsa—both retired from the Los Angeles Police Department—who told me to check with The Salvation Army because they might have some old records. I did this and discovered that they have a missing persons division. So the search was on with the help of Lois Sellars.

I contacted my two other brothers, Doug Shelton and H. Scott Shelton, and my sister, Gloria Shumaker. We were trying to find Walt’s social security number, but no one had it. Then Scott’s wife, Cheryl, called to say she had found it. I contacted Lois with the number. Lois mentioned that she was going to try the DMV. She asked me to write a note to Walt; she would forward the note to the DMV for me. I included my phone number in the note. By now, maybe a year had gone by.

More time passed. Eventually, I got a call from a “Michelle,” who told me that Walt was alive and well and that the note I sent had made her cry. Michelle and Walt met at a hospital and have lived together for the last six years. That was nice to hear—we hadn’t known if he was alive. I called my brothers and sister—everyone was pleased that he was alive and happy. Walt and I talked a few times on the phone before picking a date to meet for lunch.

During that lunch, Walt and Michelle announced plans to go to Las Vegas to get married. My husband, Marshall, asked, “Why don’t you get married at our house?”

Michelle was thrilled and that is exactly what we are going to do—how fun! My brother Doug’s wife, Linda, is going to marry them. Everyone is participating in the celebration. Walt and Michelle haven’t set a date yet, but I’m sure I will be getting another phone call soon.

Thanks again to Lois and The Salvation Army for bringing together our family.

A family reunited: (L-R) Doug, Walter, Scott, and Donna (Photo courtesy of Missing Persons department)

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