Monday Marks Sad Anniversay for
Joey Lynn Offutt's Family

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Monday marks the three-year anniversary of the house fire that led authorities to the remains of a 6-week-old boy and to the fact that his mother, Joey Lynn Offutt, was missing.

In the early morning hours of July 12, 2007, firefighters went to a fire at Offutt’s Sykesville home. After the fire was put out, the baby’s remains were discovered, but Offutt and her car were missing.

Police found Offutt’s car – a red Saturn with Virginia license plates – four days later in State College, parked at the Nittany Gardens apartment complex, where Offutt had previously lived.

After three years and multiple airings on “America’s Most Wanted,” state police investigators still have had no substantial and credible leads.

Her family has no idea where she could be, and they simply want closure.

Family spokesman Jason Hungerford tells WESB and The HERO the family believes “she was a victim of some crime and we believe – it’s sad to say – in all likelihood she’s probably dead.”

He says the hardest part is not knowing what happened to her.

“If we knew one way or the other we would be able to deal with that a little bit better,” Hungerford said. “It’s the not knowing that’s really difficult to deal with.”

He added that it’s hard on her surviving children -- daughters ages 11 and 4 ---- because “they don’t know what happened to their mommy.”

He did say the rest of the family keeps the memory alive for the children by showing them pictures and talking about their mother – “especially at the holidays. Joey loved the holidays. We keep Joey in their lives as much as possible.”

But while they try to keep her memory alive, Hungerford said he’s constantly searching newspapers for stories about bodies that were found somewhere, hoping that it will turn out to be Offutt.

He said the family would appreciate anyone with any information to come forward.

“We’re hopeful that maybe someone who was afraid to come forward before, or didn’t think that their information would have made a difference – we hope that those people will come forward now.”

Offutt was 33 years old when she disappeared. She is 5’3” with a thin build and has brown eyes and brown/red hair. She may or may not have been wearing glasses.

The family is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. They have also established a toll-free number to field tips from the public. Anyone with information is urged to call 1-877-440-JOEY (1-877-440-5639) or to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at 814-371-4652.

The family also has a website to help bring public attention to Offutt’s disappearance. Visit FindJoey.org for additional information on this case or to contact the family with information.

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