CHARLESTON, W.Va. — She’s a daughter, a mother and an animal lover. Melanie Metheny disappeared 8 years ago from Charleston’s West Side but her family is keeping hope alive that she’ll one day return. That’s the reason behind a celebration this weekend at Coonskin Park in Kanawha County.

Metheny’s family is holding the second annual Melanie’s HOPE event, or Help Our Pets Endure. It’s to raise money for non-profit animal rescue organizations, something Melanie was passionate about.

She went missing in 2006. She was last seen dropping off her young children at daycare. Since then — nothing. Melanie’s step-father Bill Daniel said they hold out hope Melanie is alive.

“Someone might have seen her. Someone might know something. That little piece of information they may have is vitally important,” stressed Daniel. “It’s really, really important to keep her name in the public’s mind!”

Not just her name but her face as well. Her picture has been in newspapers, television and on the web. Daniel asked if anyone has information, to call police.

There is a person of interest in the case. Joey Keith Jeffrey was found guilty back in April of kidnapping his cousin. That woman told police Jeffrey threatened her he would “put her in the same hole he put Melanie.” Investigators believe Jeffrey was speaking of Metheny. He is currently in prison serving a 24-year sentence.

Melanie’s HOPE isn’t just about Melanie, according to Daniel. He said every day 2,300 children, adults and seniors go missing. With so many people disappearing, it’s important to keep those names and faces fresh.

On hand for the event will be representatives from the CUE Center for Missing Persons.

Daniel stressed the event is about a serious subject but the goal is to have fun. There will be live music, food, face painting and finger print identification for children.

Melanie’s HOPE is set for Sunday from noon to 6 at the Coonskin Park Family Center.

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