Eleven years after Hawthorne nurse Nita Mayo went missing – answers are still sought.

But not only are friends and family of Mayo still longing to have their questions answered, so are 16 other families who have lost a loved one in Tuolumne County, Calif.

Lost, missing, vanished or disappeared in a beautiful, remote area of California – one may begin to think that something sinister lies in those mountains. The oldest missing case dates back to 1980. The most recent – June of this year.

No answers, no clues, nothing.

In an attempt to bring these families closer, an event is scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at Columbia State Park in California.

Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to wear memorial t-shirts and bring posters commemorating their missing loved ones.

The oldest missing person case involves Dennis Silva, 71, and his brother, Timothy Silva, 68, who disappeared three days before Christmas 1980.

Willie Elgen vanished from Mount Provo northeast of Tuolumne City in December of 2010. His sister in law explains, “We haven’t been back since Willie went missing.” His cabin was unlocked with his jacket and dog still inside.

The family of Michael Madden who vanished 20 years ago tells of a similar story where Madden’s campsite at Beardsley Reservoir was found, along with his dog – but the 40-year-old Modesto man still remains on the missing list.

Linda Hatter of Modesto received word that her son Allen C. Martin went missing last February. She explains, “I always dreamed of living in a peaceful area like that. Now, it brings sense of doom and panic. Someone there has answers.”

Most of the families hold out for a glimmer of hope but still mourn the loss of their loved one when they are tormented by not knowing what truly happened.

Tracy Mayo, daughter of Nita, will fly in from North Dakota to attend the “Tuolumne County missing Person’s Awareness Day”. Tracy spent many weeks in Hawthorne right after her mother went missing trying to find any shred of evidence in order to find her mother.

“I would love to have some of Mom’s dear friends from Hawthorne join me that day,” Tracy said.

Hawthorne residents who plan on going can contact Heidi at the Independent-News with their RSVP and shirt size.
If interested in attending the event, contact Linda Hatter at 209-604-6790. The event is free and open to the public. Those attending should pack a picnic lunch and drinks.