The exhaustive search for the body of Laura Garza, the Brooklyn woman who went missing after leaving a Chelsea nightclub with a sex offender, has officially been called off. A fire coordinator told the Times Herald-Record, "This is the last day. We've pretty much exhausted the search crews." Many volunteer firefighters had been involved with the latest chapter of the search—in December, when Garza first disappeared, local state troopers saw their overtime go up 30%. Many of Garza's family members had come up from Texas and sworn that they will stay here until she is found. Recently, two of her brothers crossed paths with the parents of the man their sister was last seen with, Michael Mele, outside the jail where he is being held for probation violations. While no charges have been filed against him in the disappearance, police have said they still hope to go to trial, even if only with circumstantial evidence. One of he Garza brothers recently said of local authorities, “They’re not stopping and we don’t have words enough to say thank you to them."
The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter estimates that paying for their rent is far less than the cost of living in a homeless shelter.
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