“I hope to God they find her alive,” said Larry Henderson, the father of Kelley Henderson Howard, 41, of Pell City.
Howard was reported missing June 2. She was last seen at the Family Dentistry in Riverside, where she worked as a dental hygienist.
Members of American Legion Post 155 in Bynum, and members and guests of the American Legion Rider’s Association gathered early Saturday morning at the Dollar General Store parking lot, next door to where Howard had worked in Riverside and was last seen, in a renewed effort to find the missing woman.
The group passed out new missing person posters, which they planned to distribute to fellow Legion members across the state.
“It’s personal,” said Detus Morrow, a member of the American Legion Post 155.
He said the missing woman is originally from Wellborn, which is close to Bynum, and her father is a member of the American Legion Post 155 in Bynum.
Morrow said Saturday morning that riders will split up into small groups and travel to different parts of the state, Leeds, Huntsville, and Opelika to name a few cities they plan to travel. Riders planned to post and distribute the new missing person posters with Howard’s picture and personal information.
The flyers include the telephone number to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
Morrow said the group will take the posters to other Legion Posts and ask members there to distribute them in their communities.
In a family statement, which was read aloud Saturday morning, “A plea for help,” Howard’s family thanked the Legion for its effort, time and support.
Family members said missing person flyers were taken down at some businesses because of rumors that Howard was found.
“Kelley Henderson Howard is still missing,” the family’s statement said. “Kelley is deeply loved and missed. We are praying the public will look again at these posters.”
Peggy Henderson, Kelley’s mother, broke down crying at times Saturday morning.
Boyd Howard, Kelley Howard’s husband, said his wife’s disappearance is hard on the entire family, and it has been a long two months since she was reported missing.
“It’s a long time,” he said, adding that the couple has been married for eight years. “She’s the biggest part of my life.”
He thanked the Riverside Police and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and all their friends for the support.
He said his wife would never shut off her family, especially her 21-year-old son Shaun Derusha, who will soon be a father.
“If she were able to call anyone, she would call him,” her husband said. “Shaun is her world.”
Family members remain hopeful that Kelley is still alive, perhaps being held captive.
“I would appreciate if they would let her go,” Larry Henderson said. “Somebody, somewhere may have seen something … We’re here today to alert the public and to ask that they keep their eyes open.”
Riverside Police Chief Rick Oliver refused to discuss the missing person case.
“I just can’t talk about the facts of the investigation until we complete the case,” he said Saturday morning. “We are making headway, but we need to keep it under wraps until the case is concluded.”
Kelley is described as having brown hair, blue eyes, weighing about 145 pounds and is about 5-feet, 3-inches tall.
Anyone with any information about Kelley’s whereabouts should contact the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, investigation division, at (205) 884-3333 or (205) 884-2677.