Seven years later, mother still holds out hope for daughter's return


CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Time doesn't heal all wounds. Just ask the mother of a missing child.

"The longer it goes on, you'd think it would fade but it gets worse, because it's more time that she's not found, not put to rest," says Judy Seelman, of Clinton. Seelman's daughter, Michelle Hutchings, was 26 years old when she disappeared on this day in 2006. Hutchings had fallen in with a bad crowd and bad habits. But she was on the mend and had just left a Narcotics Anonymous meeting when she disappeared. The last person to see Hutchings alive was a friend who had dropped her off near the meeting on Bleecker Street.

"He told me that when they went down a certain street, she saw a couple of people she knew and she asked him please not to drop her off there so he dropped her off another block so she could walk to the meeting and as he was leaving he saw the same people. But he never went back to see if she was ok"

Adding to Seelman's constant heartache, the fact that her mother died in March, not knowing what happened to her beloved granddaughter. Seelman's mother's nurse suggested Seelman see a medium.

"She told me things only I would know about this investigation and she told me a spot she thinks my daughter would be in which sounds like the police investigation so I contacted a lady in Albany that has cadaver dogs and they're coming in the fall to search that place," says a sad yet hopeful Seelman.

The dog handlers have to wait for the terrain, an undisclosed place in Oneida County, to be more searchable. While she waits for answers she craves yet no mother wants to hear, Judy Seelman imagines her daughter...just as she was when she disappeared seven years ago.

"I don't think of her as she'd be now, I think of her when she disappeared because I can still hear her laughing and I can still hear her talking. But her facial features are just as they were then. I never see her as like, older".

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