Families of HOPE: Gina Funaro
Gina Funaro’s son Jackson Miller went missing in 2010. She volunteers for Team HOPE while continuing to search for her son. Read about her missing son in our ongoing series from volunteers with Team HOPE, a peer support program for families with missing or sexually exploited children.
Our son Jackson was 19 when he left home anxious and depressed, and drove our car to the Golden Gate bridge parking lot. He paid for a parking ticket and left his phone, iPod, sunglasses and wallet in the car. The bridge authorities’ video camera saw him cross the parking lot towards the bus stop and the pedestrian tunnel to the bridge and then go out of view. Jackson was never seen in the pedestrian tunnel or on the bridge.
After an agonizing wait, bridge authorities told us that they had reviewed their tapes from the weekend and concluded that Jackson did not jump off the bridge that day. We miss Jackson terribly and every day without him has been torture.
Jackson has suffered on and off from anxiety since the beginning of high school. He is very well liked and many friends immediately helped us look for him. We went to San Francisco, an hour from our home in Cupertino, as soon as we found out where his car was. We have been looking for him there on a regular basis ever since.
We have posted flyers all over the city at businesses, homeless shelters, police stations, social service organizations and hospitals. We have handed them out to people on the streets. We have also received calls from people who are very sure they have seen Jackson There were four different reports of Jackson being seen on the same street in San Francisco four days after he left home. Unfortunately, none of these reports have been confirmed. Although this makes us hopeful he did not commit suicide we still believe his mental state is compromised.
We have never given up hope and have tried so many things to find him. We know that he is not in a good mental state because if he were, he would have called his family and returned home,
Jackson suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is particular about his looks and surroundings. In the month leading up to Jackson’s disappearance, he became very depressed and hopeless. He did not want to take medication for his anxiety and was trying to go off of it. This made him unable to sleep or do much of anything.
He spiraled down so fast that we couldn’t figure out how to get him help without him feeling paranoid that he would lose his freedom. Although he feared some drugs, we are extremely worried about his need for self-medication and what he might be encountering on the streets.
When Jackson left home he was between 5 feet 10 inches and 5 feet 11 inches and was quite thin, about 150 lbs. His hair is brown and he prefers to wear it short. His eyes are a gorgeous light blue with long eyelashes. He has worn a goatee in the past and his facial hair is strawberry blond. His skin is pale and he has a somewhat pointed nose and chin. He had curly hair on his legs but not much chest hair. He has long slender fingers and used to wear silver jewelry on his hands.
He loves music of all kinds and knows a lot about contemporary music. He does a charming rendition of “I Will Survive” and “I Feel Good.” Let’s hope he is keeping those words in mind right now!
We are optimistic that someone reading this blog will be able to lead us to Jackson. If you do see him, please don’t let him out of your sight and contact law enforcement and then 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
Jackson’s smile and laugh are unforgettable so if you are able to make him smile, you’ll know it’s him! In fact, several of the calls we got said they were sure it was Jackson they saw because they recognized the smile from the photo on the poster.
Jackson Miller is still missing. View his poster here: http://ow.ly/npU1Z