Dane Lee Hubbard’s family last saw him three years ago, but they don’t want his memory to be forgotten.
“No matter what, Dane existed on this earth, and it’s our mission to find him,“ Dane’s aunt Darlene Doss said.
Lubbock Police said Hubbard was last seen by a friend on May 24, 2016 in the 2400 block of 34th Street. His family reported him missing in mid-August and informed officers that Hubbard has a diminished mental capacity.
“It’s a feeling of helplessness and despair. You don’t have anybody to turn to,“ Doss said.
She explained Dane’s father lives in Dallas, nearly 70 years old and sick.
“At this point, his motive and his purpose for the rest of his life is just to bring Dane home. Just bury his son, before he passes.“
She credits the Voice of the Missing organization with helping them get through it.
“I know I have people who care, who take time, who have empathy, who talk to people, who enquire, who want to know what you are going through, and what they can do to help,“ Doss said. “Without that, the despair would be far worse than it is now.“
Doss met Nina Valdez one day while the family was out hanging up fliers with Dane’s picture and information.
“I happened to take one down,“ Voice of the Missing founder Nina Valdez said. “They are on fliers, and they are posted here and posted there. But they aren’t just fliers. They are someones child.“
Valdez works with the families of several missing people across Lubbock.
“If you don’t put their faces and stories out there, who is going to do it for them? When their family is in despair and has nobody to turn to, but sit and wait for a phone call? Sometimes those calls don’t come.“
Darlene Doss said the calls are few and far between, and the “not-knowing“ can be brutal.
“I mean, why can’t we get more information?“ she asked.
Police said in just the last few weeks, progress has been made on the case. It’s been moved to the Metro Special Crimes Unit, and investigators have been re-interviewing people.
“They have even traveled out of town,“ LPD spokesperson Tiffany Taylor said. “People say after several years a case may go cold, it’s a cold case. We don’t like that term here. They think it’s just sitting in the corner not getting worked. That’s not true.“
Lubbock Police said it is protocol for missing people to be put into several law enforcement databases, like the TCIC for Texas and the NCIC nationally.
“They are automatically entered into the Texas DPS Clearinghouse as well,“ Taylor said, adding that way, law enforcement all around Texas can be watching out for the person.
However, while every missing person is entered in the database for authorities, they may not be featured in the Online Bulletin that is open for the public to search.
“The ones that are up on the website are the ones that filled out the form,“ DPS Lt. Bryan Witt said. In Lubbock, it is generally left up to the families to fill out that form.
That was the case when Darlene searched for Dane on the Clearinghouse website. She said she had no idea about the Clearinghouse Bulletin, the Voice of the Missing, or other ways to get the word out to the public. She is submitting his information to the Bulletin now.
“I don’t think there is one place where people can go and know what all agencies are going to be involved, and what we need to do as a family member that’s looking for somebody,“ Doss said. “Why is there a disconnect there and what can we do to fix that?“
Doss is asking people to listen to the families of the missing.
“If it happens to you, we want people to know there is a way out and there are people there to help. If we don’t have that, then we don’t have no hope.“