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ORANGE COUNTY PERSPECTIVE : Searching No More

July 20, 1994

Countless commuters had lived with her likeness. It was brought to mind daily by a sign that hung on the side of a building, easily visible on trips up the Corona Del Mar Freeway. It was a striking statement of the question that Orange County had lived with since June of 1991: Had anybody seen Denise A. Huber?

The question has been answered tragically with the discovery in Arizona of the young Newport Beach woman's body, found in a freezer at a suspect's house. Commuters who passed the sign Monday morning still saw it, but it had been taken down by evening.

Life requires us to mark its passages in ways ceremonial and otherwise. As the Huber family and friends prepared to observe the end of their long period of terrible uncertainty with memorial services in Newport Beach and South Dakota, the removal of the sign in some small way signaled the end of a larger community's shared participation in the search for a missing member.

In such a manner, the Huber case has raised the involvement of citizens in the work of law-enforcement agencies in Orange County and beyond. It has made us aware of a shared stake in resolutions.

The search for Denise Huber enlisted posters and bumper stickers, and more. In some way, the case has bound us together, not as members of any particular town, as in the early days of Orange County, but as members of a larger "village." It was part of an important national trend toward involving community volunteers in trying to solve child abduction and missing persons cases.

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