MANSFIELD — Stacy Martin has taken up a vigil in the Burns Street neighborhood on the city's North End.
Martin, who lives in Wooster but works in Mansfield, sits in his car several hours each week near the apartment at 531 Allison Avenue, the last place his cousin, Holly Crider, was seen.
Crider, a Mansfield resident and mother of three, was reported missing March 30, and there have been no significant clues to her whereabouts in the last six months.
Saturday marks the six-month date since Crider, 38, was reported missing by her estranged husband.
"We're not going nowhere," Martin said. "I made Holly that promise."
Martin says he's talked with neighbors, many of whom tell him they think they know what happened to Crider.
Even during a recent interview, people driving by waved to Martin or called him over to discuss new possibilities.
"I see you've come back, Stacy," says one neighbor. "Hi Stacy," calls a woman driving past in an SUV.
The Mansfield Police Department has interviewed most residents in the area where Crider disappeared.
But detective Rich Miller, who's investigating Crider's disappearance, said no one discussed any information related to Crider's disappearance and appeared candid that they did not know anything.
Miller said the department recently received information Crider may have traveled to "places in the country" somewhere in Ohio before she went missing.
Miller said several locations have been checked, and the department is checking other possible locations that fit the description.
Miller described the location as "a place that she had an occasion to be at."
Martin said Crider grew up in the Danville area and moved into the Allison Avenue apartment around the summer of 2016.
"Her personality was always, like, live free and carelessly," Martin said. "No matter what was going on in life, she always had a fun spirit."
Martin said he's talked with Crider's friends, who say this is highly unusual behavior for her.
"They painted a clear picture of who Holly was, and they all said that this is not, something's wrong," he said.
Martin said all of Crider's belongings were moved out of her apartment.
Miller confirmed although Crider had a small number of personal belongings, they were given away.
Police reported Crider takes medications and requires constant oxygen. Her family says none of her medications or new oxygen tanks have been picked up. Miller confirmed that.
Miller also said all of Crider's oxygen tanks were returned to the company shortly after she was reported missing, and the company has not received any new requests for service. It serves the Mansfield and Newark areas.
Martin said Crider has been sick the last several years, and he was told Crider's doctors told her shortly before she went missing she only had a few months to live.
Miller said he learned Crider may have told friends and family she wanted to travel after the terminal diagnosis, although that remains unconfirmed.
Her cousin, Tara Kightlinger, said that's not true.
"She didn't travel," she said. "She couldn't if she wanted to. She had no car, no money."
Crider's family fears she might be a victim of foul play.
"I don't think she's with us anymore," Martin said.
Miller said at this point in the investigation, there is one person of interest, believed to be the last person to see Crider before she went missing.
Police have no suspects in Crider's disappearance.
Police checked vacant buildings in the area Crider was last seen shortly after she was reported missing per normal department protocol, but nothing was found, said Mansfield Police Captain Shari Robertson.
The police department checked surrounding apartments, as well as a south-side apartment based on a tip, but there were no signs of Crider, Robertson said.
Martin said he feels the police aren't investigating the case enough because of Crider's drug addiction.
"I think they excuse a lot of, this is normal, this is what addicts do," he said.
But Miller and Mansfield Police Lt. Robert Skropits say that is not true.
"It doesn’t matter who you are to us," Miller said.
Skropits said Crider's past does not affect how the department treats the case.
"She’s a victim. She’s missing," Skropits said. "It doesn’t matter what your background is. We treat you all the same.”
Miller and Skropits urged Crider to come home or contact the police department, if she's able.
“The possibility is still there," Miller said. "That’s what we’re treating it as."
Miller said if Crider did decide to leave the area and wants to be left alone, the department will merely verify she's safe and then leave her alone.
“If she’s made up her mind to go somewhere and live somewhere else, she’s an adult," Skropits said. "But there are people here who are concerned."
Miller also urged anyone with information on Crider to come forward.
"If anonymity is your concern, then that’s easy. We’ll keep you anonymous," he said. "If safety is your concern, we can keep you safe.”
Crider's family will have a prayer vigil at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Allison Avenue and Burns Street, near Crider's apartment.
Crider, who is reported as 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 170 pounds, could be traveling to the Newark area, according to police. There was an unconfirmed sighting of her leaving an East Main Street church in Newark around March 29, police reported.
Anyone with information about Crider's current whereabouts is asked to call the Mansfield Police Department at 419-522-1234 or Miller at 419-755-9758.
Martin said he has not seen Crider in six years or talked with her in two years, but he's still committed to finding her.
"We're family," he said. "Time doesn't take that away."
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