August 6, 2003     Campbell, California Since 1999
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Photograph by Dustin Cohen
Walk To Remember: On Aug. 28, the anniversary of her disappearance, Jesus Sanchez (right) and Georgette Sanchez, the parents of Jeanine Sanchez Harms, marched with a group of supporters in downtown Los Gatos. Her whereabouts remain unknown.
Friends and family march for missing Campbell native
By Lynn M. Doan
Pictures of missing Jeanine Sanchez Harms and signs reading "Where's Jeanine?" dominated the front of the Los Gatos Police Department as more than 100 friends and family members marched on Aug. 28 to keep the Campbell native's spirit and investigation alive.

The date marked two years since Harms, then 42, was last seen at the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell, wearing a floral dress and strappy sandals. She was seen with two white males that evening, Alex Wilson III, 38, and Maurice Nasmeh, 42. Nasmeh told police he left Harms' residence in Los Gatos at half past midnight, leaving Harms asleep on her couch.

"I think some guy killed her; I think she was abducted," said Harms' aunt, Virginia Montgomery, shaking her head. "But it would be great if the police department could find her."

After two years without a trace of his only daughter, Harms' father, Jesus Sanchez, 77, has also given up hope of finding his daughter alive, but he waits patiently for the case to be resolved.

"We're convinced now that she was a victim of homicide," said Sanchez, who spent most of the evening broadcasting his daughter's disappearance to the media. "Our daughter would have never stayed away this long."

Sanchez described his daughter as "vivacious, generous and kind-hearted" and said that last week's march was a kind of celebration of his daughter.

"We're giving our daughter this march so that people can remember her, talk about her and not forget her," he said.

"She was just such a beautiful, funny, energetic woman that attracted people, attracted people wherever she went, especially males," said Campbell resident Janice Burnham, who had been best friends with Harms since high school. "She used to come up with stories every day of her escapades in life that I just miss hearing so much."

But Georgette Sanchez, 78, says the march was more than a trip down memory lane--it has also strengthened the couple's determination to solve their daughter's case.

"We're not going to give up now, and we're going to find justice," she says. "That's what keeps us hoping, because I know we are going to find her."

As retired teachers, the couple lives in Campbell, where Harms and her two older brothers grew up.

Neither of Harms' brothers could make it to the Aug. 28 march; Jesus said the older son lives in Maryland and the younger prefers to stay away from the media.

"Everytime we have one of these things I introduce Wade, and it's so hard on him," Jesus said. "Because you end up having to talk about the same things over and over again."

Jesus may not have to continue keeping his daughter's disappearance in the public eye for much longer. Los Gatos police announced a major break in the case on the same afternoon as the march.

Police have recovered a rug that disappeared along with other items from Harms' duplex on the night that she went missing. The other items still missing include two blue-and-white-striped loveseat cushions and a flowered slipcover.

Los Gatos Police Chief Scott Seaman described the rug as a "very significant breakthrough" and to a crowd of marchers said, "I will commit to you that we will not stop until we have the answers, and we will not stop until we're able to successfully say that we have solved this. We won't let you down."

Campbell Police Chief David Gullo, who was one of Harms' elementary and middle school classmates, echoed Seaman's sentiments and added, "The Campbell Police Department and the city of Campbell stand ready to do what we can to assist."

Campbell Mayor Dan Furtado also spoke at the march, as did Los Gatos Mayor Sandy Decker.

"This is a community nightmare," said Decker. "This is what a community dreads. There is no one here tonight who isn't touched by this tragedy."

Decker pleaded for the person who has the "hidden clue" to come forward and put an end to the search.

Child Quest, a Campbell-based nonprofit organization that aids in the protection and recovery of missing, abused and exploited children and at-risk adults, hosted this year's march. Supervising case investigator Lindsey Brooks said she was looking for less somber and more positive ways of remembering Harms.

And if clues in the case continue to come in, Jesus Sanchez said, another march will not be necessary.

"We are optimistic that this case will be solved. I don't know if it'll be in weeks or months or whenever," he said. "But I hope that we don't have one of these marches again next year."

Anyone with a tip should call the Los Gatos­Monte Sereno Police Department at 408.354.8600 or its 24-hour anonymous tipline at 408.395.1101.

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