Coloradan devotes life to finding missing persons

DENVER -- A missing Lakewood girl was found safe thanks to one woman who didn’t even know her.

Madison McKindle, 15, was reported missing last week by her father, who pleaded for the community’s help in bringing her home.

The woman who helped bring her back to her family doesn’t know any of the missing people she spends hours a day searching for.

She doesn’t get paid to search, and won’t accept donations. But she says it’s her calling, and she calls it Missing Angels.

Alissa Cordova spent her early years angry, with a lot of hatred, about a missing family member.

“I went to a counselor and she said all this negative energy that you have, turn it into something positive,” Cordova said.

So Cordova, who lives very modestly, turned to money she had saved.

“I decided to take that money and invest it into something that I felt somebody else needed more than I did,” she said.

Cordova turned it into a business that’s not about making money.

“I make no money at all,” she said. “And I don’t take donations.”

Cordova took her training from previous work as a missing persons recovery specialist and now offers help to families, free of charge.

“Sometimes when I’m sitting there talking to a family I can feel the same pain and I think that is what gives me more of a desire to keep pushing for them,” she said. “Because their family member is still missing. Mine is not, but I know that pain. I know what it feels like.”

Cordova said she takes on three missing persons cases at a time. She always gets permission from the family first, and then makes contact with the authorities.

She says any relevant information that police need to know, she will pass along. But she feels like she has a better chance to relate with the victims and their families.

“I believe that me being able to put myself out there to people and not blaming them or making them feel intimidated was the reason why Madison’s friend came to me to help me get her home,” she said.

Cordova said the 120 hours she put into Madison’s case makes it all worth it when there is a happy ending. And she hopes for many more just like Madison’s.

“I know that I will always have a friendship with her parents,” Cordova said. “And I hope to have a friendship with her too.”

Families with missing persons can reach out to Cordova for help through the Missing Angels Facebook page.