Callahan Walsh always holds out hope for the people who have gone missing as well as the family and friends they have left behind. The son of America's Most Wanted's John Walsh, child advocate for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and co-star of In Pursuit with his father, Callahan is taking on a new set of cases for the special In Pursuit: The Missing, streaming Sunday, March 7 on discovery+.
Prior to the premiere, the former supervising producer for America's Most Wanted opened up to PopCulture.com about continuing his family's legacy of engaging the public to locate those who have eluded law enforcement in one way or another. The Walsh family was first inspired to act after the kidnapping and murder of son Adam, and Callahan told PopCulture that loss has allowed him to reach a new level with families who have experienced something similar.
"I think obviously being from a family that has lost a loved one, I can empathize with the families who have a lost loved one throughout the show," he said of filming the new special, adding of his attitude throughout the investigation, "The mindset is you always have to hold out hope that you’re going to find them alive."
Giving Elizabeth Smart and Cleveland kidnapping victims Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus as an example of people who were rescued alive long after their disappearance, Callahan said the hope has to be "alive" until answers are found. "We’ve seen too many recoveries to lose hope on any of these missing people," he explained. "That's what these stories are all about … because you can talk about statistics all day long … but it’s when you tell the story of one that the public really starts to care."
Featured in The Missing is the disappearance of 29-year-old single mother, Lauren Dumolo, who was reported missing on June 19, 2020, from Cape Coral, Florida. Then Callahan immerses himself in the 2017 missing person case of 15-year-old Sophie Reeder, who snuck out from her father's home on Friday, May 19, and was never seen again. In Pursuit viewers who have any information on the featured cases are encourages to text or call the confidential hotline at 833-3-PURSUE, or submit tips online at InPursuitTips.com.
"Not knowing is often the hardest part," Callahan said of the families left without any knowledge as to what happened to their loved ones. "It’s not closure — I don't ever use that word — but it does provide answers, and I think that's what these families are looking for." As he and his family are all too familiar, there's a chance to do good even when the situation looks bleak.
"I try to instill the hope that we have in the Walsh family that bad things do happen to good people, but you can rise above," he shared. In Pursuit: The Missing debuts on discovery+ Sunday, March 7, and a new season of In Pursuit With John Walsh is scheduled to premiere later this year.