Gates Family Looking for Answers

September 21, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Rachel Elzufon

September 21, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) - Frustration overwhelms the family of Loretta Jo Gates -- who is still waiting for a phone call from Niagara Falls detectives with word of a break in the case.

Nearly a month has passed since her disappearance. Loretta's father, Arthur Gates, has immersed himself in the investigation, telling Eyewitness News "it drains you, it just drains you."

Loretta Gates was last seen at Main Street and Niagara Avenue in Niagara Falls the night of August 25th, when she was heading to the corner store. Police think within a day, she was murdered.

Days later, her torso washed up in the Lower Niagara River. Since then, her body parts have washed up in the whirlpool rapids and Hyde Park in Niagara Falls.

Police have yet to catch a break in the case, and are not commenting during the ongoing investigation.

Gates says as a father "You just want to do something and you can't. You can't do what you want to do -- go out and look. But where do you start? Where do you go?"

Her family is doing everything they can to help: staying in touch with police, following-up on tips they hear and most importantly, trying to help Loretta's children cope.

The 30-year-old had three children. Her oldest is eleven and old enough to understand.

The youngest are just four and five. Arthur says "You explain that they're gone, but to the kids that just means that she'll be back tomorrow. But there is no tomorrow."

Loretta's family cannot imagine who would ever want to hurt her. Arthur says "Everybody loved her. She walked into the room -- it just makes your day when you see her and that big smile."

Her family has announced plans for two services in honor of Loretta Gates. Wednesday, September 26th, a memorial service will start at 3:00 pm in the afternoon at Zajac's Funeral Home in Niagara Falls. A religious service will follow at 8:00 pm.

The family is putting together a fundraiser in October to raise money for Loretta's funeral and start a trust fund for her children. The fundraiser is October 6th at the Sheraton Inn at the Falls at 1:00 pm. It will include dinner, tickets for a silent auction and free entertainment.

For more information, call 716-998-0778 or 716-282-1215.

Anyone with information on what happened to Loretta Gates should call Niagara Falls Police.