CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- With the signing of a resolution Monday morning, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe proclaimed April 29 as Virginia Missing Persons Day. State officials said there were currently 630 open missing persons cases in Virginia. Some of those cases dated back decades.
Gov. McAuliffe and families of the missing hoped the proclamation would help raise awareness for their loves ones.
Gil Harrington and Trina Murphy were also recognized at Monday’s event.
Four years ago this August, Trina Murphy's niece Alexis Murphy disappeared in Nelson County.
"There haven't been words written to describe what it's like to live day-in and day-out, not knowing where someone that you love is," Murphy said. "You just have to find a place where you can function and try to do some good and try to build a legacy."
Murphy is considered missing, even though a man is in prison -- convicted of killing her.
Gil Harrington’s daughter Morgan went missing in 2009 in Charlottesville. Her remains were found three months later.
"Acknowledging the Commonwealth's missing persons and their families is not just compassionate. It's the right thing to do,” Harrington said. "It really was the most difficult agonizing part of our journey -- was that 101 days when Morgan was missing."
The Harrington’s started the nonprofit "Help Save the Next Girl."
"It's a problem that affects the whole spectrum. It's our community, our Commonwealth’s problem,” she said.
"The public needs to be active needs to be assisting us on information. We cannot do this alone. The real purpose of today is to raise awareness,” said Gov. McAuliffe.
There will be a Missing Persons Day event on Saturday, April 29 in Roanoke. Organizers will be collecting familial DNA from family members of missing loved ones.