Thursday, February 24, 2005

Porter, Shipp cases to get national attention

By Stephanie Howard
The Examiner

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Story last updated at 11:16 AM on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 Local cases get wider exposure

Dr. Phil, Montel focusing on Porter, Shipp disappearances

National talk show hosts are getting involved in two Independence cases. The "Dr. Phil Show" and the "Montel Williams Show" will soon air episodes about two Independence missing persons cases - Lindsey and Sam Porter and Summer Shipp, respectively.

First is Tina Porter, the Independence mother searching since June for her missing children. The children were never returned after a weekend visit with their father, Daniel Porter, who is now in jail and refuses to say what happened to the children.

Tina flies out to Los Angeles today to be filmed Thursday for the Dr. Phil show.

"I can't believe he's doing this," Porter said. "He's so in your face, I can just picture him saying to me, 'Do I have stupid written across my face?' "

She hopes she will have the opportunity to lobby for changes in the Amber Alert system.

When Sam and Lindsey first turned up missing, police did not issue an Amber Alert because of the appearance of a custody dispute.

Mostly, Tina hopes someone will recognize her children.

"(The show does) have a big coverage," Tina said. "I know someone will see it and say, "They're right here, come and get them.'"

A Dr. Phil fan, Tina, who always remains confident her children are still alive, said she watches Dr. Phil regularly and hopes he will offer help after Sam and Lindsey return.

"He can help all of us understand what happened and why," Tina said. "He can help Sam and Lindsey deal with it."

Next week Brandy Shipp, daughter of Summer Shipp, will travel to New York for the Montel Williams Show.

Summer Shipp was last seen Dec. 8 in an Independence neighborhood doing door-to-door surveys for a market research company. Her car was found in Independence, near College Terrace and Forest Avenue.

"I'm happy that I'll be able to reach people all over the U.S.," Brandy said. "The main goal is to keep it out there, keep the story alive."

Brandy hopes the show is another opportunity to keep her mom's picture and name in the public eye.

Summer could be anywhere in the country, or world, Brandy said. She views the talk show as a way to reach many different people in many different places.

Field crews for both shows were in Independence last week getting background information.

Neither air date has been released, but Tina said the show will air about two weeks after filming.

To reach Stephanie Howard, send e-mail to stephanie.howard or call her at (816) 229-9161, Ext. 25.