One Year Later: 175 Loved Ones Found in FOX 8’s ‘Missing’

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CLEVELAND--It's been ten years, and the Hodge family still holds out hope of finding Michael.

39-year-old Michael Hodge left a party early one morning a decade ago near West 172nd Street and Puritas. He hasn't been seen since.

"I almost well up thinking about the times we had together," says his younger brother, John, as tears start to form in his eyes.

But members of the Hodge family know two facts today they didn't know just over a year ago.

First, people can be found after they've been missing even for a decade-- just witness the amazing rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.

And second, there is a program that continues to look for missing people in Northeast Ohio every day.

"It's very important, and I'm so proud that FOX 8 does this kind of stuff," says Bill Hodge, Michael's older brother.

Bill is referring to FOX 8's 'Missing' program, which was started shortly after Amanda, Gina, and Michelle were rescued from Ariel Castro's home.

In a year, the program has featured 237 people on FOX 8's news broadcasts and on FOX8.com. 175 of them have been found.

"The viewers and police, it's a community effort to work together," said Elyse Chengery, who coordinates the 'Missing' program for FOX 8.

We know that people sometimes go missing for reasons that are different than what may have been suspected.

There were questions as to how hard authorities looked for eleven missing women who turned out to be victims of Cleveland serial killer, Anthony Sowell.

While there were many rallies for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, who were both younger teens when they went missing, authorities really weren't looking for Michelle Knight, who was an adult when she disappeared.

"You do a really good job putting these people on TV, and I thank you for that," Michelle Knight said when she appeared on FOX 8 News in the Morning on May 9.

Parma police detective Jeff Wells said the phone often starts to ring "almost immediately" once a segment featuring someone missing from his town is broadcast.

Earlier this year, our 'Missing' segment helped Parma police locate a woman who they had been looking for since 2006. She was alive and well.

"It's nice to bring closure to a family," said Detective Wells.

Renee Jones runs an empowerment center that tries to find missing people, particularly those who may be the victims of human trafficking.

"The most important thing is to let people know that you care," Jones said.

She added that the FOX 8 'Missing' program helps in part because it doesn't look at why someone is missing, but only makes sure that there is a police report filed and that authorities are looking for a person.

"That is, to me, the most beautiful thing about the program," Jones said, "because it doesn't matter if someone is a runaway or what someone may term a throwaway, they are a person."

Appearing on FOX 8 News in the Morning on the one-year anniversary of the rescue of Amanda, Gina, and Michelle, Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone said, "You're the only local station, every single day, you profile a missing person."

Meantime, a decade later, the Hodge family continues to hope and pray that Michael will be found.

"It's important to look for everybody," said Bill Hodge. "And it's very important that we never forget about any missing people."

CLICK HERE for more on FOX 8's 'Missing.'