CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police are hoping an age-enhanced photo of a girl who has been missing for more than three years will help them track down her whereabouts.
Yasmin Acree, then 15, hasn’t been seen since Jan. 15, 2008, when she disappeared from her home in the Austin neighborhood.
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Chicago Police initially treated her case as a runaway, but her family insisted that someone must have broken into their home and kidnapped her. They said there was evidence that a door had been bashed in and the lock on a gate was cut.
Police later acknowledged making mistakes in the handling of the case and the Internal Affairs department agreed with the family’s allegation of misconduct.
On Saturday, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis held a news conference to release an age-enhanced photograph of Acree, provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The FBI is also assisting police in the investigation.
“In cases like this, parents often say that not knowing is the hardest part. I think we would agree,” Weis said. “Our detectives will not stop. They will not waver from their mission until we find out what happened to Yasmin.”
Acree’s mother, Rose Starnes, and her uncle, Rev. Ira Acree, also attended Saturday’s press conference.
Starnes, wearing a T-shirt with her daughter’s photograph, cried as she said she was glad police were releasing the new picture, in case someone recognizes her daughter.
“It’s been much, much too long. We want her back,” she said.
Acree’s family and their supporters have been offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to her return or an arrest.
Anyone who recognizes the photo or who believes they have information about Acree should call Chicago police at 312-746-8365 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678).