Friends of Janesville man who was missing start search group for other families in need

Goal: Help families search for missing loved ones
Friends of Janesville man who was missing start search group for other families in need

Not a day goes by that Josh Berg doesn’t think about his friend, Jordan White.

“I’m taking it day by day,” he said. “Some days are better than others.”

White disappeared from Janesville Nov. 8, and his friends and family looked tirelessly for him for nearly two months. Their search ended when White’s body was found in the Rock River Jan. 1.

“It’s nice having closure, though,” Berg said. “I can tell you that.”

After spending so much time searching for his friend , Berg now wants to help other families who are in similar situations.

“After seeing what the White family went through, the hard times they went through, we realized the support system that they had made it a lot easier on them,” he said. “We realized not everybody has a support system, and we knew that local police departments are stretched thin as it is. They aren’t able to go out and search every day if a loved one goes missing. So with Jordan deep in our hearts still, we wanted to create a group to help other members of the community.”

The group is called Jordan’s Search and Assist Team , in memory of White. Berg started the group with the help of his friend, Cheryl Dayton, who he met while searching for White.

“She was a complete stranger who came into our lives and made it a million times easier,” Berg said. “That’s kind of the message I want to send to other families: even complete strangers can make a time like this so much easier.”

“We’ll be forever friends,” Dayton said.

Jordan’s Search and Assist Team offers help 24/7 to families searching for a loved one.

“I want to bring a sense of comfort to them like we had throughout the whole search,” Berg said. “I want them to feel like they’re not alone in this. If they need us at 3:30 in the morning for some reason, I want them to be able to call us.”

The search group is made up of people who were involved in the search for White. The members of the group hope to use their experience to help other families in need.

“When this all started with Jordan, initially we were all sitting at the kitchen table, and we were all thinking to ourselves, ‘Gosh, what do we do?’ Dayton said. “And we all looked at each other and we all said, ‘We don’t really know because we’ve never been through this before.’ So I think for me, the biggest thing is to try to help another family so they don’t have to experience the confusion of it all. If we could go in and help them keep it more organized and go more smoothly, I think that would be very helpful for them.”

Berg said he’s proud to have started this group in memory of White.

“I think he’d be thrilled that he’s going to be lived on in our hearts and through the whole team,” Berg said.

White’s family is not involved with the search group, but they know about it and are happy Berg and Dayton started it.

“From what they told me, they’re very proud of the fact that Jordan’s name is being used, and they’re very proud that Jordan’s name is going to live on,” Dayton said.

Berg said the group has about six members right now, but they’re looking to grow. Anyone new to searching would be able to learn from the team.

“We always search in groups,” Dayton said. “So anybody that would come on brand-new would search with other people. And that’s always to ensure everybody’s safety.”

Berg said Jordan’s Search and Assist Team will work mainly in Rock County and the surrounding areas. He said he’s reached out to task force groups in the county to let them know the group is available as a resource. He said the group is also working on reaching out to local police departments.

“What we want to do is be able to have a very good relationship with the local police departments,” Berg said. “That way they feel comfortable calling us in, feel comfortable giving out our information to families who need our help.”

Anyone interested in volunteering, or any families that need help, can contact Jordan’s Search and Assist Team . Berg said he’s also working on setting up a Facebook page.