I'll never forget when I was maybe 12 or 13-years-old, I witnessed the look of sheer panic, grief and terror as tears rolled down the faces of my father and mother.  "What's going on," I asked.  "Your sister is missing," my father said as he frantically paced back and forth in between phone calls to the police station. My sister had gone out with a friend of hers the night before to the Altamont Fair.  She didn't come home.

For hours we were living a nightmare.  To this day, I can honesty say that I have never seen my mom and dad completely torn apart like they were on that summer day.   When something like this happens, you immediately think the worst.  I remember my mother saying out loud that she thought Sherri was dead.  This was 35 years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday.

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A few hours later, almost a full day since she left, Sherri returned home and it was like the scene out of a movie.  Nothing but hugs and kisses; a sense of relief and gratitude. It was like the weight of the world was lifted off our shoulders.

What exactly my teenage sister did that night and why she didn't come home when she was supposed to isn't relevant.  Also, the last thing I want to do is portray that what my family went through is similar to what Cassandra's family is experiencing, but when I saw this story all over the news on Wednesday, this is where my brain took me.  I'm not a very religious person, but I'll be praying for her safe return, and here's what we know.

The Schenectady Police posted information about the possible abduction they're currently investigating involving 26-year-old Cassandra Thompson and her alleged captor, a man who goes by the name "Pops."

The post from the Schenectady Police was relatively vague, but you couldn't deny the sense of urgency portrayed in regards to her disappearance.  Abductions aren't as common as a missing child or missing vulnerable adult report, and this post made a lot of us feel uneasy.

"Schenectady Detectives received third party information that a Cassandra Thompson (26) is being held against her will. Ms. Thompson is a white female, 5’6” 150lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes. Ms. Thompson resides in Troy N.Y. and may be with a male known only as “Pops”." Schenectady Police Facebook 


Who is "Pops," and what is his real name?  Also, if Cassandra is reportedly still in the area, why haven't police been able to ping her cell to ascertain her whereabouts?  I'm no missing persons or abduction expert, these just just happen to be some things I pondered while thinking about her and her poor family who must be besides themselves.

May Cassandra and her entire family feel the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders with some good news.  Much like all of us here in the Capital Region, I'll be tracking this story hoping like crazy for her safe return.

If you see this person or know her current location please call 911. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. K. Maloney at 518-382-5200 ext.5617.

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