RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Police Department is working to bring awareness to hundreds of missing persons cases in the City — both old and new.

The department’s efforts come during the month of April, Missing Persons Awareness month, but the push was spearheaded by police Chief Gerald Smith last year.

“We’re combing through to see what else we can do to bring these cases to closure,” Detective Clarence Key said. “We’re constantly going back to review and hoping to find new leads.”

In 2021, 336 people were reported missing in Richmond. Detective Key said the City is on pace for a similar year with 81 reports in the first three months of 2022.

With this new effort from RPD, detectives are working to find answers for family members like Clarice Davis, who is still holding out hope of seeing her missing sister, Melanie, again.

“Somebody said she was getting into a white car and that was the last we saw of her,” Clarice Davis said. “Her purse, her driver’s license, her bank card… everything was still in the house.”

Melanie Davis vanished from her home without a trace in 2019, leaving her family with mounting questions and worries.

Detective Key said the department takes those emotions into account when re-visiting these cases.

“I try to put myself in their shoes,” Key said. “Talking about loved ones being missing and not knowing where they are…it’s depressing.” 

The department is also launching a new social media campaign to highlight more stories like Davis’.

In the meantime, detectives are asking anyone with any information that could help solve a case, to come forward.

“The smallest piece could solve the puzzle,” he said.

If you have information, call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.