Community Holds Vigil For Missing 70-Year-Old Woman, Janet Walsh

SHALER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — More than 50 white candles flickered through the pews of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Shaler Township on Saturday.

There was a candlelight vigil for 70-year-old Janet Walsh who has been missing since January 19.

Between breaks of silence and the singing of church hymns, people who attended offered prayers to Walsh’s family and asked for a safe return.

Pastor Ellen Landie, Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, told KDKA, “there’s a lot of concern and people have hearts that care about people in the community and so when we heard she was missing there was just a lot of sadness and grief.”

Walsh was not a church member but she did attend services often, Pastor Dan Smail, Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, told KDKA. Though she wasn’t an official member, her presence was cherished and she is missed.

People who know Janet said they want answers about her disappearance.

“Is she okay? Why did she leave? We just want her to come home,” said Denisse Bowland, who has known Walsh since childhood.

After the vigil, people went searching for those answers.

A search party organized by the Western Pennsylvania Search and Rescue Missing Persons Division canvased the neighborhood where Janet Walsh lived, looking for clues. The group consisted of roughly 25 people.

Amy Jacobson, who joined the search told KDKA, she is friends with Janet’s daughter and has been trying to provide comfort to the family during this time.

“I’ve only texted her. I just want to give her space and let her know I’m there for her,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson herself had family go missing in the past but they were never found.

“Hopefully her situation ends out differently,” Jacobson said.

She and everyone else who attended both events today are holding onto hope that Janet Walsh will return home safely.

Walsh was last seen at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran.

Detectives said they’re looking for a 2018 silver Chevrolet Trax with Pennsylvania registration KTW6007.

Walsh is described as 5-foot-3, 170 pounds. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes.

If you have any information call 911.