Family hopes billboard of missing woman helps solve her disappearance

Family hopes billboard of missing woman helps solve her disappearance
Gayle McCaffrey has been missing since mid-March.
Gayle McCaffrey has been missing since mid-March.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Visible from I-526 on Leeds Avenue. Above busy Dorchester Road. Tucked into trees just off College Park. The face of Gayle McCaffrey is now on eight electronic billboards throughout the Lowcountry as a reminder that the West Ashley mother of two is still missing.

The search for McCaffrey is now getting help from a missing persons organization that has been utilized in other high profile disappearances in South Carolina in the past.

Officials from Community United Effort (CUE) said they will be assisting the Charleston County Sheriff's Office on the case.

"She's been missing now for five months and you've got to keep her name out there," said Vicki Porter, who is a representative with CUE.

Porter says the more people make a visual connection to McCaffrey on the billboards, donated by Adams Outdoors, the better the chances someone may remember something important to the case.

"We're hoping to get new leads," said Porter. "Somebody knows something. Somebody knows where Gayle is located. We're just looking for more information to help bring awareness and her family resolution in this case."

Porter was assigned to McCaffrey's case last month and has been in constant contact with McCaffrey's sister, Helen Banach, to get the billboards up.

"It's such a boost to know that there's someone else out there that's willing to help," said Banach.

Banach says McCaffrey's daughter has now permanently moved into her home and is enrolled in a new school. The missing woman's sister says everyday Gayle isn't found it gets harder to explain her disappearance to her children.

"The police keep telling us that there's no such thing as a perfect murder which means somebody out there knows something," said Banach.

The CUE organization and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office have worked together on searches for Brittanee Drexel, who disappeared from the Myrtle Beach strip in 2009, and Crystal Gail Soles, who went missing in Andrews in 2005.

Volunteers from the CUE organization searched for both women on horseback, ATVs and on foot in areas near their disappearances. Porter says after talking to the CCSO, they are prepared to do the same in Charleston.

However as of now, Deputies say there are "no additional searches are currently planned as a result of the meeting with CUE representatives. The Charleston County Sheriff's Office and CUE will continue to evaluate the case and will work collectively should additional information develop in the search for Gayle McCaffrey."

McCaffrey has been missing since March 18.  Deputies have named her husband, Bob McCaffrey, as the prime suspect in her disappearance.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CUE is working to correct inacurracies on the billboards regarding a local phone number for tips and the mispelling of McCaffrey's last name.  The correct local number to dial for tips is 202-1700.

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