Virtual conference

Virtual Missing Persons Conference Addresses ‘Nation’s Silent Mass Catastrophe’

By police personnel1

PITTSBURGH – The Missing Persons Division of the Western Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Development Center (WPSARDC) is sponsoring an online conference on missing persons on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

The event features international and national speakers with expertise in missing persons cases, including:

  • Tad DiBiase, “The No Body Guy”, who specializes in pursuing affairs without a body
  • Cyril H. Wecht, MD, JD, International Forensic Expert
  • Patrick Atkinson, President and Founder of the International Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons
  • Judith Yates, criminologist and true crime perpetrator

The lecture will also include personal stories from families of missing persons.

“The missing persons cases have been called the silent mass catastrophe of the country,” said Tracy Pampena, director of WPSARDC’s missing persons division. “More than 600,000 people go missing each year in the United States, and Pennsylvania has the tenth highest number of open cases in the nation. While many of these people are eventually found alive, thousands more are still missing. Police detectives, private investigators, medical examiners, coroners and others involved in these cases will find a wealth of information at our conference. Our panel of experts will cover topics such as human trafficking, domestic and international abductions, prosecution of “no body” cases, difficult witnesses, forensics and much more. »

Pampena added that the missing persons conference will also be very informative for criminology students, true crime buffs and families of missing persons.

The registration cost for the entire conference is $100. Participants can also register for individual workshops, at a cost of $30 per speaker. As a bonus, the first 250 registrants for the entire conference will be eligible to win a draw for a trip worth $6,000 wherever you choose to travel. The cost of the conference is tax deductible because WPSARDC is a Pittsburgh 501c(3) non-profit organization.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the WPSARDC Missing Persons Division. All funds raised will be used for DNA testing, billboards, flyers, cash rewards, physical searches and the use of dead dogs.

“Our team helps law enforcement departments that are understaffed or don’t have cold case teams,” Pampena said. “We conduct research, fund DNA testing, distribute leaflets, facilitate physical searches and collect cash rewards, among other services. We also assist families who begin the process of finding a missing loved one.

To register for this event, visit For more information, email [email protected]