OceanAve, thank you for responding to my post. Here is a summery of Rose's story.
Rose Lena Cole, born 12-23-56 (if alive, she will turn 50 in December of this year) was born in Flint, Michigan. Rose was one of 3 siblings (Jesse, Pose and Rose). Her parents were divorced when she was young and, at some point, her father remarried a woman named Opal who also had 3 children. Rose's father adopted those children. Rose's real mother and father are now deceased. Her stepmother Opal is still alive. Rose's brother Jesse, and his wife (known here as Isabela) are the ones who initiated the search for Rose.
I am not clear on many of the dates involved but generally Rose started getting in trouble at home and then running away some time around the age of 14 or 15. She was accused of doing drugs (although later reports by a junior high friend dispute this), and was called before a Judge where she apparently smarted off to the Judge and said she would "quit doing drugs but she wouldn't quit selling them". Again, the true story appears to be that she wasn't using or selling but did, indeed, have a smart mouth. The Judge sent her (from Flint, MI) to Synanon in Oakland, CA. (for drug treatment) in either late May or early June of 1972, when Rose was 15 years old. At some point around November or December of 1972, Rose ran away from Synanon. In December of 1972, Rose turned 16.
Rose wrote home while at Synanon, or in the aftermath of running away, 5 times... 4 letters and 1 postcard. Isabela has copies of 3 of the letters, one letter (the last one) has been lost over the years, and the stepmother may have possession of the postcard. The last letter Isabela has was written on Rose's 16th birthday but not mailed until February of 1973 because Rose didn't have a stamp.
Rose has never been heard from again. In one of her last letters home, Rose mentions being in China Town (in San Francisco we presume) and having a bad kidney infection. In a previous letter she mentioned that she was pretending she was 19 years old.
Later, Opal and Rose's father divorced and the remaining family split up. Nothing was done to locate Rose until her brother Jesse's wife (Isabela) realized her husband had a missing sister a few years ago. Isabela put up a website with two pictures of Rose and asked anyone to contact her if they knew her whereabouts. I found the picture of Rose when she was about 2 years old and thought she might be Sharon Marshall, so contacted Isabela. At that point we realized Rose was much older when she disappeared, so her file was put here on the Cold Case forum.
Isabela is working with Jerry Nance at NCMEC to have her listed; however, there are many complications in jurisdiction in the case due to her living in Flint, MI, being missing in California, and her brother living in Wisconsin. Every attempt is being made in Wisconsin to have her officially listed as missing. Once that is accomplished, Mr. Nance can list her on NCMEC. And until the Wisconsin missing report is officially filed, nothing else can be done.
Isabela is working with the Coroner from Marin County, CA (across the bridge from San Francisco) on a possible Jane Doe. Right now it looks like that Jane Doe isn't Rose, but again there are snags due to dental work.
We also assume Rose was penniless and living on the streets of San Francisco after she ran away from the Oakland Synanon (across the Oakland Bay Bridge from San Francisco).
Rose had no driver's license and no Social Security number. There may be dental records for Rose but right now we think they are mixed up with her stepsister's dental records. Trying to obtain records from the early 70's has been tedious, at best.
At this point, we presume Rose is no longer living. All of her letters to her family scream of wanting to be loved and to be forgiven and wanting to come home. She vowed she would call her stepmother Opal when she turned 18, but that call never came.
Pictures of Rose,comments from Rose's sister-in-law, and the letters Rose wrote home can be found at this url:
The picture of Rose in a striped top is the most recent picture of Rose available and was probably taken when she was either late 14 or early 15.