Missing child case prompts new hope for Spanaway mother

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Updated Thursday, May 24 at 11:42 PM

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- From across the country, Diana Smith watches the Etan Patz case and sees hope.

 
On Thursday, New York police arrested a man in the death of the 6-year-old Patz, who disappeared 33 years ago.
 
“It’s wonderful for that family,” says Smith, “I wish it would happen in my case.”
 
Smith sat on her couch, and talked like it happened just yesterday, that day 20 years ago. It was September, 1992. “I said I love you baby, she said I love you and she went off.”
 
She watched her then 14-year-old daughter Misty Copsey walk into the Puyallup Fair, and then vanish.  “She was supposed to catch her bus home and called me at work and said she’d missed her bus.”  Misty was never seen again.
 
Months later, frustrated with police, Diana and some volunteers searched an area near Mud Mountain Dam, outside Buckley.  That’s where they found a pair of pants and some other clothing. The wooded area was near the site where the remains of two other Puyallup teenagers were found.
 
“They were her clothes, no doubt,” says Smith.  “I know that what she had on.  They were really unique pants with a pattern on the pocket, cuffs on the pants.”
 
Puyallup Police said Thursday however, that DNA tests on the pants have not matched Misty, but rather an unidentified male.  The DNA sample has been placed in a national registry.  Cpt. Dave McDonald however says “we do presume she is dead” and although they’ve interviewed suspects over the years, detectives are not close to an arrest.
 
“You’ll see something on TV about bones found, or skeletal remains, and you think could that be her?” says Smith.
 
She now wants that answer, wants that morbid discovery.
 
“She was my child, and she needs to be put to rest respectfully.”
 

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