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Patti Carter Bishop
Karen Jo Smith
Patti Carter Bishop
Karen Jo Smith

Patti Carter Bishop became an Advocate in 1980 as a Domestic Violence Counselor in her hometown of Anderson, Indiana.  She was on the opening team of the 3rd Shelter for Abused Women in Indiana, then called Women's Alternatives, now known as Alternatives, Inc.  Her mission began then to aid in protecting and advocating for laws by doing whatever possible to protect any victims of any type of abuse.
Patti's first meeting, alone, with her soon to be step-daughter, Karen Jo Smith, was one that would soon become all too prophetic.  Karen Jo was in a very abusive relationship with her then-husband.  Karen Jo needed empowerment to leave her husband so she and her two children could survive without abuse and fear.   That was in the Summer of 1993.  Karen Jo was able to get away from her husband and he became her ex when he went to prison for dealing drugs in 1995.  Little did they know that he was trying to contract her murder with an undercover sheriff's deputy at the same time he was arrested by an undercover police detective, without either department knowing what the other was involved in at that time.
On December 27th, 2000, Karen Jo was last seen by her then-14-year-old son, with her now ex, who was released from prison in October 2000, around 10:30 p.m. at Karen Jo's home in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The next morning the phone rang at her home; it was Karen Jo's cousin. Karen Jo's son answered, and her cousin asked, "Where is your Mom?  We have an appointment and she is not here to pick me up."  As Brandon looked for his Mom, all he found was his  little sister Stephanie, and two more young cousins still asleep upstairs.   Karen Jo's car was parked in the back of the duplex, but she was nowhere to be found.  Karen Jo had never, nor would she ever, leave her children, let alone her niece and a little cousin, without adult supervision.
The search for Karen Jo was just beginning, as Patti and her then-husband, Karen Jo's father, were in Florida at this time.  Cell phones did not recieve reception, so they were turned off.  They had not given any info of where they were going other than to Disney and when they would return, which was to be on December 30, 2000.  Not smart, but why would anyone need this info, nothing was going to happen to anyone, so they thought.  When Patti and Ed returned home, they did not even bother with checking the answering machine, as they were both too tired from the long drive, so Patti thought.  Ed checked the machine after Patti went to bed, and when Patti awoke the next morning she found her husband still in the same spot where he was when she went to bed.  He told her, "Karens missing". In Patti's heart, she knew Karen was not just missing, but worse!  
There were minimum tools to aid in searching for missing adults in 2000.  There were no laws to state that the police even had to look for a missing adult.  Fortunately, the Indianapolis Police Department had a detective with the Missing Person's Unit, Detective Judith Phillips, who took the initial call and decided to assign herself to the case, .  Detective Phillips listened to the family as they were telling her about Karen and her ex-husband's history. Detective Phillips called in search dogs, called in helicopters, did everything she could to track Karen Jo and Steven Halcomb, as did Karen Jo's family.  Detective Phillips and Karen Jo's family knew Steve Halcomb had Karen Jo, just not where.  
Steven Halcomb was convicted of Murder 1, without a body, in December 2004, and sentenced to 95 years in January 2005.  He is currently incarcerated in segregated isolation in Wabash Valley Correction Facility in Indiana.  
Patti formed IN Hope, Indiana's Missing, a 501(3)(c), in the fall of 2006, a support system in Indiana for families with a missing person.  IN Hope provides resources and education to law enforcement and empowerment for the families.  
Patti,  along with numerous families in Indiana, was instrumental in getting The Molly Datillo Law, (Indiana's Missing Persons Law),  passed in 2006.  
The family is still searching for Karen Jo's remains.  Her murderer has taken the LE and family to a site,  where he stated in 2010 that he buried her, but as of 2012, they have yet to uncover anything to indicate he is telling the truth.   
Patti was trained at The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children in the Team Hope Division in the Fall of 2003 and continues her active volunteer training and support to families for Team Hope.
In the Summer of 2010 Patti joined the Surviving Parent's Coalition, and became a Board Member of the SPC in 2011.   
Advocating for laws and protecting our children, no matter their age, along with keeping her promise to Karen Jo's daughter,  Stephanie, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 17,  is Patti's personal mission in life.