11/2/07 Shelva's Story
Sightings of Missing Shelva Rafte: Please Help!
ATTENTION: Positive sightings of Shelva have occured in PA in truckstops off I-81. This was a result of Shelva's 18 Wheel Angels poster campaign. Several people concur with the initial sighting.
It is important to get the word out to persons in this area and to anyone who knows truck drivers who run this route. Ask them to take the posters with them and distribute.
Shelva Rafte is now on Project Jason's 18 Wheel Angel campaign. A special poster has been made for her and can be downloaded and printed for placement. More information about the program, and the link for the poster can be found here:
In addition to the campaign, Shelva is also featured in a national trucking publication, either Through the Gears or Independent Contractor. These free magazines are distributed in truck stops nationwide and have a circulation of about 150,000 each.
Through the Gears and Independent Contractor are two of Target Media Partner's many publications. In partnership with Project Jason, they feature two missing persons each per month. You can pick up your free copies at a local truck stop, but if it's far from you, you may want to call and ask if they carry that magazine. These are NOT with the regular for purchase magazines.
You can also see the current campaign information on this Target Media Partners site: http://www.thetrucker.com/Features/Missing_Week_1.aspx
We hope this helps in the search for Shelva. Please consider printing and placing a poster in businesses in your community.
Family Website: http://www.findshelva.com/
Updates on Shelva’s Case: http://www.projectjason.org/forums/index.php?topic=464.0
Direct link to Shelva's poster: http://projectjason.org/18wheel/18WheelAngel_ShelvaRafte.pdf
In addition to the 18 Wheel Angel poster campaign as noted above, Shelva's daughter shared the story about her mom's disappearance:
By Janelle, Shelva’s Daughter
“That would never happen to us” is a common phrase when people see bad things happening to other people. You feel almost invisible from any harm until something does go wrong. Life was going on as normal for everyone in our family. We had all pulled together to plan a graduation party to remember for me. My mom was in charge of the meatballs and rolls and she was going to arrive early to finish the decorating. The day was perfect. It was Memorial Day weekend, 95 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky. There were smiles on everyone who attended. Now that day seems to be such a nightmare.
I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. It was around 11:30 PM, May 29th. My aunts were calling me on a conference call to say that no one had been able to reach my mom all day and that they were concerned. It was normal to not reach my mom the second you called her, but for some reason I felt compelled to drive 45 minutes to Pittston. I called 911 on the PA turnpike and told them I needed an officer to meet me on Cleveland Street in Pittston, Pa “just in case”. I arrived just around 12:30 AM to see the cops sitting on the front porch. They had already looked through her apartment and there was no sign of her. Things were left as if she hadn’t been home all day. The only other place she could have possibly been was at her boyfriend’s home on Market Street in Pittston. He hadn’t seen her since 1:00 AM that morning after they had left my graduation party. The rest of the night was a crucial search alone until 4:00 AM. The search was on.
There wasn’t a wink of sleep that night or for many nights after that. We had foot searches, flyers, meetings with the CIU and the State Police and the FBI, dog searches, helicopters, ATV’s, and boats in the river. Nothing was found.
The facts and evidence were slim to none. All we knew was that my mother was last seen leaving my graduation party at around 10:30 PM on May 28th with her boyfriend and she has not been seen since.
The boyfriend states that they had a fight and she left his house to walk home at around 1:00 AM in the morning. The police do not have any evidence to the contrary. Her house was left with the TV on, the doors locked, and her car in the driveway, just as it was left when she came to my party.
It has been over a year since her disappearance and there is still nothing to go on. We have been on the news, put up flyers, increased the reward, and yet nothing has come through.
My mom was last seen wearing powder blue capris with rhinestones on the back and a powder blue t-shirt.
Everyday when I wake up I am thinking about her, and every night I dream of her. And I am not the only one. I have three brothers who are 20, 15, and 11. We need our mom. All we want is closure so we know if she is dead or alive. She is still out there and someone knows something. It’s now about reaching as many people as we can and doing it quickly.
My mother worked at Scott 60 Truck Stop for many years. Scott 60 is located on I-81 in Scott, Pa. She was a waitress there and got to know many of the truck drivers pretty well. In fact, many people have recognized her and have asked me if she used to work there. One strong theory that my family believes is that her disappearance may have occurred very close to the Pilot truck stop in Pittston, Pa. We believe that it is very possible that she may have had someone pick her up that could be driving out of state. I don’t think that this possibility is a long shot. I believe that someday, putting her posters in truck stops may actually lead to finding her.
My family actually owns a small business in delivering stone across the United States. We have already begin putting them up at truck stops with our own drivers, however, we would never be able to reach as many as we would if we had volunteers from the 18 Wheel Angels to help us get the word out. Any help we would receive would be greatly appreciated.