News and Announcements
visit The Center for Hope
for updates regarding legislation progress.
4/7/2001 An Update from the Lyall family:
On April 3rd, 2001 Governor George Pataki signed a Proclamation establishing
April 6th as New York State Missing Persons Day. This day is Suzanne's
We have added three recent articles to the articles
page from the Times Union and Schenectady Gazette.
11/17/2000 An Update from the Lyall family:
As you may know, we were fortunate to have an impact of passing the Campus
Safety Act that went into law on January 1st of this year. Our worst fear
was that it would become just another piece of paper without doing the
intended job of making campuses safer. Now we are optimistic that it will
really help. There have been a series of meetings between colleges and
law enforcement agencies focusing on the implementation of the new law.
Written agreements between agencies are in place that help to insure that
there will be a prompt and thorough investigation of a violent crime or
a missing student. The brochure, developed by us and the Division of Criminal
Justice, has been distributed to colleges and is available on request.
Doug and Mary Lyall
The text of the brochure may be viewed online here.
6/13/2000 The Lyall Family, in conjunction Lt. Gov.
Mary Donohue, Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, and other state
officials from the New
York State Thruway Authority, have presented an initiative to add
missing person information to popular state government websites. State
government will step up its efforts to track down missing persons by posting
special alerts on its transportation-related Internet sites, officials
announced Monday. Read the full story here.
3/27/2000 An interview with Doug and Mary Lyall
appeared in Sunday's New York Times. You can read it by clicking here.
3/20/2000 An update from the Lyalls:
(THE FOLLOWING IS A SAMPLE LETTER, UNFORMATTED, SO THAT YOU CAN CUT AND
PASTE IT INTO YOUR EMAIL OR WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM. THANK YOU!)
We received a recent response from the leaders of the Assembly saying
that they will be "taking a look" at Suzanne’s Law. We hope they will,
but somehow it is easy to doubt their sincerity. In addition to the petition
signatures, a large stack of letters on Silver’s desk would help to remind
him that we are not going away. If you are willing, please send him a
letter and ask others on your address list to do the same. Again your
help is greatly appreciated.
Doug & Mary Lyall
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver
Speaker, NYS Assembly
OB 932/CAP 349
ALBANY, NY 12248
270 BROADWAY, SUITE 1807
NEW YORK 10007
Dear Assemblyman Silver:
I am a New York State resident and the mother/father
of (put children’s' names and ages here) I want my
children to be safe at school.
Please bring Assembly Bill 7078-C, Suzanne's Bill, up
for a vote in the Assembly. I support this bill
because I feel that those who would victimize our
children on school property should be punished more
severely, just as we punish those who sell drugs
in Drug Free School Zones. Please write me back with
any information you have as to when this important
bill will come up for a vote.
(Include your name and address)
3/13/2000 An update from the Lyalls:
We would like to thank you for the support and encouragement you have
been giving us in our efforts to pass Suzanne’s Law. As you know the bill
was unanimously passed by the NYS Senate in 1999 but it was never brought
up for vote in the Assembly. It was passed again in the Senate on March
1, 2000 and as of this date is still waiting for Sheldon Silver to allow
a vote. We have been assured that if a vote was allowed the bill would
pass and be signed into law by the Governor.
The petition drive that you have been helping us with has been going very
well. About 25,000 signatures have been collected but it may take closer
to 100,000 before Silver recognizes that the citizens insist that democracy
be allowed to take place. Unfortunately, some politicians only respond
to strong public opinion and, because lawmakers are up for election this
year, we plan to apply pressure as opportunities arise.
If you have thoughts and suggestions, please pass them along to us. Your
continuing help will be appreciated.
Best regards, Doug & Mary Lyall
3/4/2000 The Lyall's appeared in a story in The
Saratogian on March 2. You can read the full text of the article here.
1/7/2000 The Lyall Family appreciates your continued
interest in this case, and asks you for your help in letting our legislators
know how you feel about Suzanne's Law. Visit this link
for information regarding how you can write your representatives. We have
also added a page that will showcase Suzanne's art
and her poetry.
If you have written any poetry and you wish to share it here, we plan
to create a forum for this. We ask that you email
your submissions directly to the family for consideration.
12/21/1999 SUZY'S LAW PETITION DRIVE You can read
the text of the article, "Lyalls press Silver on crime bill", that appeared
in the December 16th Times Union here.
11/29/1999 An update from the Lyalls:
First of all, we would like to thank your for your help with the petition
drive to pass Suzanne's Law. The response has been great so far, but I
think we were a little overly optimistic by expecting to have the number
of signatures needed by December. There is still a slight chance we can
capitalize on the small window of opportunity when the Assembly returns
for a couple of days before Christmas but we certainly can't count on
it. We will probably need to hit the Assembly leaders when they return
after the first of the year. In the meantime, if you can continue to help
us with our efforts it will be greatly appreciated.
Best regards, Doug and Mary Lyall
10/29/1999 LYALLS ASK FOR HELP IN PASSING "SUZANNE’S
We need your help! As you may know we have been working on getting the
Assault and Abduction Free School Bill passed into law. If passed, the
law would increase jail time for serious crimes committed on and around
all levels of school grounds and help to create a safer learning environment.
It was unanimously passed by the NYS Senate but is stalled in the Assembly
and may never reach the floor for a vote. The only way to move ahead is
to grab the attention of Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Our hope is to present him with at least 100,000 petition signature by
this December.If you can help us work toward our goal, it will be greatly
appreciated. Any resident of N.Y. State, including students, can sign.
So far we have been focusing our efforts on schools, hospitals, PTAs,
fraternal organizations and wherever people pass through. Getting to petition
to other parts of the state where the story is not as well known is really
Best regards, The Lyall family
Right click here
and download an image (303K) of the petition by choosing "Save link as".
It should reproduce fairly well on your printer. Feel free to make copies,
distribute or collect sigantures, and return it ASAP. Thank you!
10/14/1999 An article appeared in today's Times
Union regarding the attempt on the part of Jame Tedisco to push 'Suzanne's
Law' forward in the Assembly. You can read this article by clicking here.
Another article summarizing the case, and reporting the current status
was written by Sonia Chopra, a special correspondent to the Nassau and
Suffolk news. You can read that article by clicking here.
10/4/1999 Recently, a window sticker was created
to assist in the search for Suzanne. The sticker contains contact information,
the web site URL and a photgrapgh of Suzy. If you would like to download
a copy (141K) of the sticker from this web site you may by clicking here.
Feel free to print it out, make copies and distribute it as you wish.
The Lyall family would like to thank you in advance for all of your efforts
in assisting them during this time. We have also added a page of photographs
of Suzy when she was a youngster. You can see them here.
8/2/1999 A recent article regarding the lack of
action by the New York State Assembly regarding 'Suzanne's Law' appeared
in the Schenectady Gazette. You can read that article by clicking here.
Another article summarizing the case, and reporting the current status
was written by Sonia Chopra, a special correspondent to the Nassau and
Suffolk news. You can read that article by clicking here.
6/25/1999 Lara Jakes, of the Albany Times Union,
wrote a story regarding the pending Campus Crime bill in front of the
NYS Democratic Assembly. Read the full text of her story by clicking here.
6/21/1999 Guestbook feature of home page has been
restored! Well wishers, friends and guests are encouraged to post in our
reopened guestbook. Entries from the previous incarnation of the book
have been archived, and are available from the main page.
4/7/1999 CAMPUS SAFETY ACT BECOMES LAW
The Campus Safety Act was signed into law on April 6, 1999, Suzanne's
21th birthday. The Lyall family became inspired by a similar law passed
in California where it was initiated by the parents of Krisitin Smart
who is still missing from a college campus. The legislation requires institutions
of higher education to implement written plans in cooperation with local
law enforcement agencies when an investigation of a violent crimes or
a missing student becomes necessary. Decisions about "who should do what"
must not be left until a tragedy occurs. When does a college consider
a student to be missing? In most cases that is a judgment left to the
descretion of campus police or college administration, one that can result
in costly delays. The definition of "missing" will also need to be clearly
defined including a time line for when parents will be notified. Another
aspect of the bill provides for a "Hot Line" that can be utilized by parents
if their child becomes missing. This service will connect the family with
a "missing persons expert" who can will be available to refer, advise,
direct, and counsel the family as needed right from the very beginning.
The plans must be in place by January 1, 2000. The challenge is to ensure
that this is not an empty law and that each college and university accepts
their responsibility with the utmost seriousness. Click here
to read a related story from the Albany Times Union
3/13/1999 BILL WOULD HIKE PENALTIES FOR VIOLENT CAMPUS
Assemblyman James Tedisco proposes new legislation that would up the penalties
for those convicted of campus related crime. The new bill, named "Suzanne's
Law" was recently introduced at a press conference. The Lyall's were present
to endorse the new law. Read the Gazette article by clicking here.
3/1/1999 Rich Condon has also written a letter to
the person or persons responsible for taking Suzanne, and he would like
to share it with you here.
3/1/1999 Doug and Mary Lyall appeared on the Today
show in New York this morning. They have received many calls and letters
in response to their appearance, and are thankful for the support. Keep
an eye out for a taped segment called "Missing Without a Trace" on WNYT
Newscenter 13 on Tuesday night at 11pm. The family was interviewed by
Kari Lake. In web site news, you may have noticed that the main page has
been cleaned up a bit. We moved all of the articles to an archive page,
and moved all of the links to online resources and missing persons to
a links page. Though we hate to edit individual freedom of speech, as
all opinions are usually valid, we felt that the more personal attacks
made on our guestbook were not serving the common good, and they were
2/20/1999 The Lyalls will be appearing on WROW Radio
from 12am to 4am, along with the parents of other children who have gone
missing in similar on-campus cases. Interviews with police agencies will
also be featured. Listeners are invited to call in with questions. The
schedule is online, and can be read here.
The call in phone numbers are also available.
2/15/1999 Doug Lyall has written a letter directed
at the person who abducted Suzanne, and he is sharing it with us here.
The letter will also appear in the February 16th, 1999 issue of the Times
Union, and on local news casts. You can read the letter by follow this
2/9/1999 VIGIL FOR SUZANNE ON FEBRUARY 23, 1999
As the anniversary date of her disappearance approaches, a vigil for Suzanne
will be held at the State University at Albany near the small fountain
at the entrance to the student center. The ceremony will begin at 7 PM
and last about one hour. The vigil provides an opportunity of renew awareness
among the students and to educate the approximately 40% of the SUNYA population
who were not at the campus on March 2, 1998. The Lyall family will be
attending and are encouraging those from the surrounding community to
1/13/99 Dear friends:
We are continually looking for ways insure that Suzy's disappearance is
not forgotten. Mary and I have accepted an offer from WROW AM 590 to participate
in a call in show on Saturday night Jan. 16 from midnight to 4 AM. Joining
us, among others, will be the sister of Kristine Kupka, a missing student
from downstate. The show can also be accessed on the internet http://www.wrow.com
and a chat room will be available. Let me know if you need help getting
connected. If you are a NightOwl or have insomnia, please tune in. Thanks
your for your support. Best wishes, Mary, Doug, Steve and Sandy
If you've been to Crossgates Mall recently, you may have noticed there is
a new sign featuring photos and information about Suzanne and a rendering
of the Nike Man. Lang Media has generously donated the space for this 4X4
foot sign that was recently placed at the Crossgate Mall bus shelter. The
sign was designed by Rich Condon and will be periodically moved to different
locations throughout the capital district. Click here
to see a full size version of the sign (about 97K), or click on the thumbnail
above to see a half size version (about 42K).
12/21/1998 Lyall family learns of early events during
investigation, retraces last known steps taken by Suzy on March 2nd. Two
new articles by Kris Thompson appear in December 21st Troy Record, and
on evening news broadcasts. Full text of both stories are available on
from December 21st Troy Record
story from December 21st Troy Record
LYALLS SEEK IMPROVEMENT IN CAMPUS SAFETY
The Lyall family feels strongly that every student has a right to seek
education in a safe environment and that parents should feel secure that
their children are protected from violent crimes when they are sent off
to college. As a result of a proposal made by the Lyalls, Assemblyman
Griffith will soon submit legislation that is aimed at providing students
on college campuses greater protection from violent crimes. The Act would
amend the state education law by improving law enforcement procedures
for investigating crimes which occur on campuses within New York State.
It requires that procedures, investigative authority and geographical
boundaries be predetermined between campus police and the local law enforcement
agencies. This would allow for a rapid and coordinated response to any
violent crimes on college campuses.
9/15/98 SOLOMON SUBMITS BILL H.R. 4532 TO INCREASE PROTECTION
FOR MISSING YOUNG ADULTS
As a result of a plea from the Lyall family, Congressman Jerry
Solomon has submitted a bill to the House of Representatives to amend
the National Child Search Act. The current law, which applies to children
up to the age of 18, recognizes that time is the enemy and stipulates
that law enforcement agencies impose no waiting person before declaring
the child missing and that immediate contact be made with the National
Crime Information Center and the State Missing and Exploited Children
Clearinghouse. Those over 17 years of age are not treated with the same
urgency and the Federal law requires that a 24 hour waiting period be
imposed before accepting the person as missing. The amended law would
eliminate the waiting period and extend the same protection that now applies
to children to cover young adults up to the age of 21. Click here
to visit the site, and read the actual text of the change.
8/28/98 VIGIL FOR SUZANNE TO BE HELD AT THE STATE UNIVERSITY
A candlelight vigil to honor Suzanne will be held at Collins Circle at
the State University at Albany on Thursday, September 10, 1998, at 7:30
PM. The timing for the vigil coincides with students returning to campus
after summer vacation, and there is hope that the vigil will increase
awareness about the disappearance and the need for students exercise sound
judgment in assuring their own personal safety. Students are well known
for having the "mind set" of being "bullet proof." In addition, there
is hope that the event will result in someone coming forward with new
information about Suzy's disappearance. The Lyall family is encouraging
everyone from the capital district to attend.
7/11/98 THE LYALL'S ASK FOR HELP TO KEEP THE STORY ALIVE
Doug, Mary, Steve, and Sandy
With no new developments in the investigation, Suzanne's disappearance
is less prominent and public awareness has decreased somewhat. We believe
that it is very important to keep the information in the public view,
which will hopefully lead to someone coming forward with information.
We are still trying to get exposure nationally with shows like Unsolved
Mysteries and lobbying to get an update shown on America's Most Wanted.
Texaco, who is the main Sponsor of the Kids Watch program is helping out
by displaying posters at their stations in PA., NJ and CT. Locally, the
billboard on Central Avenue, and now on Fuller Road, has received a great
deal of positive attention and hopefully it will continue to be moved
to new locations in the near future. Posters have proven to be a great
way to keep information out there and are again being distributed in the
Albany area. Mild Wally's, Paesan's and Sadie Klutz's will be generously
assisting us by including posters with their delivery orders. The Pressroom,
Talco Printing, and Saratoga BOCES have been extremely generous in donating
their time, skills, and materials in producing many thousands of posters.
The Capital District has many wonderful people and we have found that,
generally, all we need to do is ask. If you can help us with our effort,
please let us know.
6/15/98 GIANT BILLBOARD DISPLAYED
ON CENTRAL AVENUE
high quality, highly visible billboard was recently erected near the corner
of Central Avenue and Route 155. Rich Condon, Suzy's boyfriend, and his
family have been working behind the scenes since her disappearance to
keep information out there and have arranged for the sign to be displayed
through the generosity of the Whiteco Sign Company. The large board, that
includes a color picture of Suzy in addition to the "Nike man", comes
at an opportune time since there has been little recent news about the
6/11/98 THE STATE OF NEW YORK HELPS TO SPREAD INFORMATION
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is helping to
keep the news of Suzy's disappearance fresh by distributing and displaying
posters throughout the 12 regions of New York where a multitude of people
visit the many state run facilities. It is hoped that the exposure to
thousands of people who have not been familiar with the situation in the
past, will result in new information being brought to light.
6/1/98 THE SEARCH CONTINUES
Over Saturday and Sunday 80 volunteers joined with members of three search
and rescue squads to perform a roadway search in 23 designated areas in
some of the more remote sections of Albany County. The purpose of a roadway
search is to focus on areas just off roadways that could be quickly accessed
by someone driving a car. A search of this magnitude required many hours
of preparation in addition to the 1200 man hours of search time that the
teams devoted over the two days. The volunteers, made up primarily of
friends and co-workers, were inexperienced but were joined by experts
from the squads who provided guidance and direction. Six search dogs also
utilized, which helped cover the more expansive search segments and where
walking became difficult. Despite the efforts, nothing connected to Suzanne
was located. Plans for further searches are being considered.
5/22/98 STORY APPEARS ON AMERICAS MOST WANTED
After a long wait, Suzy's disappearance finally got national exposure
when it appeared last Saturday on AMW. A brief, but well done segment
was presented that included the composite of the still unidentified "Nike
Man". AMW is viewed by millions and it is hoped that information provided
through telephone responses will lead to vital information that has not
been forthcoming from the capital district. (Visit their website at www.amw.com)
5/14/98 The Lyall family announced plans to expand
the search outside of the areas already combed by professional searchers
near SUNY campus and Crossgate Mall. Friends and family are expected to
participate in the search which will focus on open areas. No special search
skills are required, and the Lyall family welcomes anyone interested in
joining the search to make contact by E-mail.