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CBI holds event for families of missing people still searching for answers

The annual "Missing in Colorado" event connects families with investigators, resources and support.

DENVER — There are 1,281 missing people in Colorado right now. 

According to the Colorado Bureau Investigation (CBI), many of them will be found but 580 of those people have been missing for a year or more. 388 of them are kids. 

Each year, CBI holds a "Missing in Colorado" event where families can discuss their cases with investigators. 

"I came out here today because my son has been missing since 2007," said Connie Elstun. 

For 16 years, she has been searching for her son, Benjamin Clemens Kalina.

"February 14th he didn't show up for work," she said. 

He was 27 years old when he disappeared. 

"Ever since, I've done my DNA, I've done whatever I can to find him," said Elstun.

Credit: 9NEWS - Alex Castillo
Connie Elstun holds up a photo of her son, Benjamin Clemens Kalina, who's been missing since 2007.

She and other families came to the event on Saturday, still looking for answers. 

"Keeping that hope alive, that something could change at some point," said Audrey Simkins, investigative analyst with CBI. "If we can provide some support and just some other to-do steps that make them feel like they're part of the process and they're doing something, that can be really helpful I think."

At the event, families can speak with investigators, provide them with additional information, like dental and medical records, as well as buccal swabs for identification purposes. 

There are also victim advocates, other resources, and emotional support that connects them with others going through similar loss. 

"After it's been going on for a while, we want to provide some support to those families as well," said Simkins. 

It's support focused on people like Elstun, who are refusing to give up searching for their loved ones. 

"Just some of the whys, that would be great if we knew," said Elstun. "Before I die, I'd like to know what happened. I don't know if I want to know the details of it, but I want to know why."


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