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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nita Mayo, Families still search, hope

Families still search, hope 200 people march in Vigil of Hope because a loved one is missing

Last Updated: March 12, 2006, 05:42:35 AM PST

Tracy Mayo's mother has been missing since August, so she wanted to lend support to the foundation that has helped in her family's search.

She was one of about 200 people who marched in downtown Modesto on Saturday as part of the eighth annual Vigil of Hope sponsored by the the Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation.

"I think it's shocking to know there are so many families affected by this," Mayo said. "It's just overwhelming."

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, was the guest speaker at this year's vigil, and he talked about the tough stance he believes is necessary to reduce the number of violent crimes.

"Zero tolerance is a deterrent," Cardoza told the audience at First Baptist Church. "I believe in the 'three-strikes' law and we must preserve it. And I believe in the death penalty in premeditated murder, in the murdering of our officers and in murdering to cover up a sexual crime."

Saturday's venue gave victims' families a chance to get public attention and support for their search for missing loved ones or tips that might lead to those responsible.

This was first time Mayo, 37, attended the vigil, but she plans to make the trip from her North Dakota home each year.This was first time Mayo, 37, attended the vigil, but she plans to make the trip from her North Dakota home each year.

The foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads authorities to her mother, Nita Mayo, of Hawthorne, Nev.

The 65-year-old nurse left her home on Aug. 8 for a drive over Sonora Pass and a day of shopping. Her car was found at Donnell Vista Point on Highway 108 in eastern Tuolumne County, with her keys, purse, wallet and cell phone locked inside.

"The big picture is that my mom is missing and we want her home," Mayo said.

Kim Petersen, the foundation's director, said many attend the vigil for the same reason — to find out what happened to their loved ones.

Many were wearing T-shirts or holding up posters with pictures of those missing or victims of violent crimes as they marched in the vigil.

"These families never give up their fight, and that's why they're here today," Petersen said.
The families also form a lasting kinship with people they meet at the vigil.

"In this room, there are people who truly understand their fear, their pain and their nightmare," Petersen said.

That's not what Francis and Carole Carrington envisioned when they organized the first vigil eight years ago.

The Carringtons wanted the public's help in finding their daughter and granddaughter, who disappeared for five weeks before their bodies were found in Tuolumne County.

"I didn't realize how many people were out there missing," Francis Carrington said.

They established the foundation after their daughter, Carole Sund, granddaughter Julie, and a family friend, Silvina Pelosso of Argentina, were murdered by Cary Stayner in February 1999 while they were vacationing near Yosemite National Park.

"There was nothing we could do to help our family, so the only thing we could do is help other families in need," he said. "And there's more awareness now than there ever was before."

Sharon Rocha, who has written a book about the case of her murdered daughter and mother-to-be Laci Peterson, thanked the Carringtons for their support.

"We all have a common bond," Rocha said to the audience. "This is your safe haven, knowing nobody here is going to judge you."

With the help of the foundation, Petersen said, 29 murder suspects and three kidnapping suspects have been apprehended, and nine missing persons have been found.

Carole Carrington said she hopes those numbers grow.

"We hope that it gets better for you," she said to the audience at the vigil. "You never know when that little clue is going to solve your case, find that murderer or convict someone."

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394 or

For More information on Nita Mayo please visit our Main Forum.

Click Here for Nita's Poster Courtesy of Texas EquuSearch.

For more information about the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation click Here.


  • At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 5:29:00 PM, Blogger Tracy Mayo said…

    Thank you to this website for keeping the dissappearance of Nita Mayo in the public. Due to the fact that there are so many missing people out there, keeping the attention of the public on one particular missing person case is such a hard task. It takes websites like this to continue our search....thank you for this forum. If you would like more information on Nita Mayo and her disappearance, please visit this website:


    Tracy Mayo

  • At Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:20:00 AM, Blogger From Whispers to Roars Admin said…

    Our prayers are with you and your family. Your mom is one of the first adults we posted on our forum. We all have a soft spot for that smile and those glowing eyes. You can tell she is a wonderful person just by looking at her. We are praying right along with you for her safe return.


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