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Light The Way Missing Persons Advocacy Project was founded on the principles of providing the families and loved ones of missing persons a full circle experience, where we use our investigative skills and research tools, as well as our passion for advocacy to locate missing individuals.

Our small, private team attempts to locate missing persons by using various open source investigation techniques and provides a wide variety of awareness and advocacy campaigns for missing persons such as:

  • assisting in planning candlelight vigils

  • coordinating authorized community volunteer searches

  • spearheading fundraising events for reward funds

  • planning in person community gatherings

  • initiating and maintaining social media campaigns

  • connecting families with media outlets

  • creating flyers, billboards, and websites for missing persons awareness

At Light The Way we believe in treating missing persons, their families, and loved ones with empathy and compassion and we understand that every person deserves to be found.

We have the right to choose which cases are accepted and what services are needed at our own discretion.

Call To Action


For the last two plus years, Light The Way Missing Persons Advocacy Project has organized a weekly phone call and email writing campaign to Governor Inslee on behalf of missing child Oakley Carlson requesting that he conduct an immediate secondary independent agency review of Oakley’s Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (WA DCYF) case.  This past fall, Governor Inslee responded and stated that, “The Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds (OFCO) found that DCYF’s conduct and actions were consistent with court orders, state and federal laws, and agency policies. My office has a high degree of confidence in both the thoroughness and impartiality of the OFCO’s investigation and finding regarding DCYF’s conduct and its service delivery to Oakley and her family.”  His response felt as if he was ignoring Oakley’s supporters concerns regarding Patrick Dowd’s lack of transparency when interviewing Jamie Jo Hiles, Oakley’s foster mom, and the verified timeline which shows WA DCYF’s disregard for the multiple phone calls and emails made to social worker Angela Fries regarding Oakley’s safety.

The facts are simple, WA DCYF failed Oakley Carlson and we have created a petition in support of seeking answers for Oakley by requesting that Governor Inslee conduct an immediate secondary independent agency review of Oakley Carlson’s WA DCYF case.  We need your help today by signing the petition and sharing the petition across your social media platforms and with friends and family. 

We THANK YOU for being a voice for Oakley and a voice for children who have been failed by the adults whose job was to keep them safe. Click here to sign and share!

-Light The Way Missing Persons Advocacy Project


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Engage with Empathy Campaign

Light The Way proudly supports and encourages Julie Murray's Engage With Empathy Campaign. The #EngageWithEmpathy Campaign unites survivors of true crime, supporters, & content creators as we make the difficult journey for those struggling with loss a little more bearable.


  • To offer support and solace to those struggling with loss and trauma.

  • To educate content creators on the lasting effects their content has on those who have the most at stake in the stories they cover.

  • To educate the public on how to identify responsible and ethical true crime content.

  • To engage the true crime community on issues important to victims and families left behind in the wake of these tragedies. 

#EngageWithEmpathy Campaign - Maura Murray (

Important Events


On April 7, we celebrate the life of Brandon Barron who is forever loved and never forgotten. In honor of Brandon and in appreciation of his family’s unwavering commitment to raising awareness for missing individuals, we kindly request your support in sharing a missing person flyer on Sunday, April 7.

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April 11 marks 43 years since Barbara Cotton disappeared from Williston, North Dakota. At the time, Barbara was 15-years-old, had shoulder-length dark brown hair, hazel-brown eyes, was 5'2' tall, and weighed 100 lbs. She did not take her clothing, eyeglasses, cigarettes, money, paycheck, or any other personal belongings with her. Family and friends continue to advocate and bring awareness to Barbara’s story in hope that they will one day receive answers and justice for their beloved Barabara. To learn more about Barbara’s story please click here.

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On April 16, Ava Grace Baldwin will turn 15-years-old. Ava Grace was a victim of parental abduction. She was last seen on September 17, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas when she was 6-years-old. Ava is believed to be in the company of her non-custodial mother, Kathryn Ann Baldwin, who has a felony warrant out for interfering with child custody. Kathryn, who also goes by Katie, has a history of alcohol and prescription drug abuse and suffers from mental illness.

Baldwin and Ava’s father, David Hopper, shared joint custody. After Hopper requested full custody due to concerns about Baldwin’s ability to keep Ava safe, Baldwin disappeared with Ava. Baldwin’s vehicle, a silver 2014 Ford Escape was found abandoned in a parking lot in San Antonio in April 2016, seven-months after the pair disappeared.


Baldwin's family has stated they have not seen or heard from her or Ava since 2015 and they believe the two are dead, but Hopper and his family disagree.  They believe they are alive and in hiding, possibly being helped by friends or family and they refuse to give up hope. They know that Baldwin has family in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Florida and Illinois, and friends in several parts of the country as well. They want nothing more than for Ava to be returned home to their family who will never stop looking for her and loving her. To learn more about Ava Grace, please click here.

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Mikayla Gamble/Standridge-Martone has been missing since April 21, 2023 from Concrete, Washington. At the time of her disappearance, Mikayla was 26-years-old, 5’2” tall, 90-100 lbs, bright blue eyes, and had blonde and pink hair. Anyone with information is asked to call the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office at 360-428-3211.

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APRIL 21-27

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be commemorated April 21–27, 2024. The 2024 NCVRW theme is How would you help?

The 2024 theme asks all of us: friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues, community leaders, victim service providers, criminal justice practitioners, and health professionals: how we can help crime victims. Are you prepared if someone confides in you about a victimization? Is your organization victim-centered and trauma-informed? Are you familiar with the services available in your community? 

Click here to find NCVRW community awareness events, resource fairs, vigils, and other events across the Nation hosted by local service providers and allied professionals. 

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Every year on April 25, scientists, biologists, and genetics enthusiasts come together to observe National DNA Day, celebrating the discovery and research into DNA and the scientific advancements that helped make progress possible. Organized annually by the Human Genome Research Institute, National DNA Day encourages people to learn more about the science that makes them genetically unique. Click here for more information. 



We are excited to announce that Light the Way is participating in the inaugural fundraising event, Jog For Justice 2024, which is a virtual 5k! Join us to run, walk, or jog 3.1 miles to benefit Season of Justice, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, from wherever you are, at any time during the month of April!

We would love for you to join our team! Click here to register, make sure to select the Light The Way team to join us, and then post your 5k completion time by May 3, 2024. Super easy!

If you are unable to participate but would like to make a donation, please click here. We have set a goal of raising $500 from Team Light The Way. Your generosity enables Season of Justice to continue awarding much-needed grants to investigative agencies and families who work tirelessly for resolution in cold cases! Thank you!



On Saturday, March 16, the PINKathon, a Fun 5k Run/Walk was held in Olympia, Washington. Oakley supporters wore pink, her favorite color to show their support in bringing awareness to her story. The event was hosted by Miss Thurston County’s Teen Emma Adams whose community service initiative is ‘Out of the Cold: Bringing Unsolved Homicides and Missing Persons Cases Into the Light.’ The event raised more than $7500 for the Oakley Carlson Reward Fund which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. This now brings the reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Oakley Carlson to $100,000. Thank you to Emma, her mom, participants, and those who donated!



Please help Alison Duiker give her missing mother, Lonene Rogers, a voice. Someone somewhere knows SOMETHING! This GoFundMe was created to fund the cost of billboards, flyers and informational cards for Lonene and continue to help raise awareness for her story. Thank you to all who are able to donate and for those willing to share this fundraising effort!


A  Very Special Thank You

We want to extend such heartfelt gratitude to Parker Outdoor Inc and Pacific Outdoor Advertising for their extremely generous donation of billboard space for Oakley all across Washington. Thank you both for your continued generosity and kindness!

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