CHICAGO (CBS) — Four years ago Sunday, a 14-year-old Austin High School student disappeared from her home. Saturday, more than 50 family members, police, community residents and ministers joined in prayers for her return.
They sang and offered prayers as they gave community residents an update in front of the family home at 4842 W. Congress Pkwy. Ex-Bull Mickey Johnson and anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes each contributed $1,000 to a standing reward fund, bringing to $7,000 the total reward for the person who provides information leading to Yasmin Acree, who was last seen the morning of Jan. 15, 2008.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
Despite that, the Rev. Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church, said there are few leads and no sign of his cousin, who is 18 years old if she is still alive.
“It’s certainly heartbreaking, it’s heart traumatizing and it’s a minefield that I would not wish upon anyone to have to walk in,” he said. “It’s a terrible, terrible feeling.”
Yasmin’s mother, Rose Acree, choked back tears only long enough to say, “It’s been four years. It’s been hard. It’s been rough. Yasmin, if you can hear us, we love you and we do miss you and we’re doing our best to get you back.”
Detectives initially treated the case as a runaway, but a Chicago Police Internal Affairs Division investigation determined in 2009 that the evidence pointed to an abduction. The Acree family had its differences with former Supt. Jody Weis (wees), but met in October with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who said the case would remain active.
Grand-Central Area Det. Mike Roth, who attended the vigil, said there were far more tips about Yasmin shortly after she disappeared than now, and appealed to the public to come forward.
Anyone who has information that can help is asked to call Grand-Central Area detectives at (312) 746-8365.