PORTSMOUTH, OHIO (WOWK) — A cold case involving a missing person in the Buckeye State is getting renewed efforts to find any new information with some interesting technology.
The disappearance of Megan Lancaster more than eight years ago is one that law enforcement officials remember well.
Now, authorities are hoping to renew the public interest and get possible new leads by releasing an age-progressed image of what they think Lancaster looks like now.
“On April the third of 2013 we took a report that Megan hadn’t been seen for a couple days. They found her car at Rally’s, which is a local drive-thru restaurant here in town. When the officers got there they checked it; her wallet was laying on the front passenger seat, her cellphone was later recovered and they didn’t find anything in the cellphone that was out of the ordinary,” says Chief of Police Debby Brewer of the Portsmouth Police Department.
Chief Brewer says Megan’s mother made the report at the time, and had additional concerns.
“Megan had an issue with narcotics so that was why she contacted us: because she was afraid that something had happened to her,” Brewer says.
Brewer says nobody had seen a thing as to what had happened to Megan.
“From there, posters went up, we put out bulletins… We’ve been looking for her for several years now.”Chief Debby Brewer, Portsmouth Police Department
However, just last week, a new image has been released by the State in this case: it’s an age progression photo based upon one of Megan at 25 years old—the age she was at the time of her disappearance—to what she would look like now at 33.
The criminal intelligence analyst behind the image says it’s a feat that takes careful consideration.
“It’s not an app that you put somebody’s photo into and then it just automatically does it for you. It’s something that I do manually in photoshop,” says Samantha Molnar with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Using various reference images including photographs from family members to see how they have aged, a composite image can be created.
Now that it is out in the world, officials say they just hope it brings some closure to the family.
“We hope that if Megan is out there, and if she is still alive that someone sees her and calls us, lets us know. The family needs to know one way or the other,” Brewer says.
Brewer says since putting the photo out late last week, they have not yet received any tips.
If you have any information regarding this case, call the Portsmouth Police Department at: (740) 353-4101.
Or, contact the Portsmouth Detective Division at: (740) 354-1600.
You can also visit the police department’s website here.