The disappearance of Ballston Spa native Suzanne Lyall is sadly one of the most famous cold cases in upstate New York.

She went missing in the late 1990s, at 19 years old.

“I know every mother probably says the same thing, but she could walk in the room and light up the room. She had this big smile,” says Mary Lyall, Suzanne Lyall’s mother.

Mary and her husband, Doug, helped make April 6 New York state’s official Missing Persons Day. It was also Suzanne Lyall’s birthday. This year marks the 20th Missing Persons Day.

What You Need To Know

  • Suzanne Lyall went missing in 1998

  • April 6 is her birthday and New York state’s official Missing Persons Day

  • Banners in Ballston Spa were put up to help bring attention to more than a dozen missing persons cases

Normally, there’s a big event in Albany for families who have missing loved ones, but because of the pandemic, the last two have been cancelled.

“Basically, over the years, we really brought people together, and with this pandemic, it's very difficult to bring people together because nobody wants to travel. Not being able to have our day is just really difficult,” Mary Lyall said.

She knew she couldn’t sit and do nothing.

Last fall, she partnered with Mark Blech to create banners with unsolved missing persons cases to hang around Ballston Spa.

“This is an issue that most people don’t think about, and it's very important because it does happen to people in our community,” says Blech, the designer of the banners.

There are over a dozen missing persons banners along Front Street and Milton Avenue, including one for Suzanne Lyall.

“I just hope that someday, we’re going to have some resolve for some of these families,” Mary Lyall said.

Resolution for them, and Mary Lyall is still holding out hope for herself.