Tom Ross: Rare happy ending for Steamboat psychic
Local medium aids search for missing Pennsylvania teen
November 27, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs psychic medium Bee Herz received the kind of news this holiday week that keeps her devoted to the work of helping families find missing loved ones.
Herz was taping a radio show Tuesday when an associate called to let her know that a 15-year-old, Hunter Snyder, had been located safe and sound in North Carolina two weeks after her family reported her missing from her home in Carlisle, Pa.
Herz believed all along that Snyder was safe.
"I was stunned," Herz said. "So many times, we know it's a body retrieval and the authorities know it, too. If someone isn't found within the first 60 minutes," the chances aren't good.
Herz said she isn't infallible and she doesn't take credit for finding Snyder.
"I can be wrong. Sometimes I say, 'I don't feel certain on this one, you should consult with another psychic. But I connected with Hunter. I don't know why. I can't explain it. It's one of the times I was so sure and I was standing my ground."
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Herz is a psychic who can tell people about their past, present and future, and a medium, someone who can help clients open a channel to deceased relatives, for example.
Her day-to-day work can involve helping people to understand their careers and relationships.
However, when Herz volunteers her services to the national not-for-profit Project Angel Eyes, she works as a psychic investigator. In the case of Hunter Snyder, Jessica Shipton, of Project Angel Eyes, referred Snyder's family to Herz.
Project Angel Eyes raises funds to support families of missing love ones in ways that a psychic investigator cannot, empowering them to drive the pace of their own investigation and helping them bear the cost of cadaver dogs and otherwise mundane but grim items such as renting a sump pump to drain watery ditches and ponds. It's not fun, but it is rewarding work, Herz said. And her approach is nonjudgmental. She doesn't care whether the lost person has a criminal background or how dysfunctional their family might be.
"It's just that I'm helping. I'm doing something," she said. "I just want to find them."
However, it's Project Angel Eyes that strives to keep families engaged in the hunt for lost family members by giving them reasons to continue hoping — to see the search through, even when the outcome is almost certainly an unhappy one.
Hunter's father, Eddie Snyder, said Friday that his family needed the support they received from a variety of sources.
"Throughout this ordeal, we were on an emotional roller coaster," he said. "Nobody wants to hear their daughter died."
Where is Hunter?
Herz was walking in downtown Steamboat Springs on her way to dinner at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill when she first received a phone call from Shipton about the missing teen. Typically, she needs to speak to family members before she can get a reading on the missing person, but mindful of how time-critical the search was, she began working on Hunter's disappearance knowing just her name and when she was thought to have disappeared.
"I went into the bathroom at Mahogany to talk to Jess (Shipton) and she asked, 'What are you getting?'" Herz said.
When she thought about the missing teen, the bits of information she was receiving through a well-developed part of her brain in the pineal gland had to do with trucks, computers, Virginia or West Virginia and a birth mother.
The Patriot News in Carlisle reported that Snyder's father and stepmother contacted police after she did not return home from school Nov. 11. She was described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and wearing a black hoodie decorated with purple skulls, dark jeans and black Converse sneakers.
In the first days of the search, law enforcement officials were aware of an encouraging sign — though her parents had taken away Hunter's cell phone, friends had procured another for her and cell phone towers were receiving pings from the phone. But then, the pinging stopped.
However, Herz kept getting strong indications of a computer in use and she had begun to infer that the teen was hitching rides at truck stops in the Virginias. Above all, she was confident the young woman was on the way to visit her birth mother.
Her family rejected that thought, she said, because they were convinced the status of their relationship precluded the girl wanting to reconnect with her natural mom. Herz even urged Shipton to contact law enforcement officials and ask them to wait for Hunter outside a military base in North Carolina.
Herz just wouldn't let it go.
Ultimately, Eddie received a phone call from his ex-wife in North Carolina who said, "Don't worry. Hunter is with me, and she's safe."
"It was a huge relief," Eddie Snyder said.
Police concluded that the missing girl had left home of her own accord and foul play was not suspected.
The reappearance of Hunter gave Herz the boost she needs to continue with her volunteer work at Project Angel Eyes — she will spend much of this weekend searching for a young man missing in Louisiana whose ultimate fate, she already suspects, is not as uplifting.