Wednesday 23 October 2019

Every year the family held a vigil, hoping for fresh clues

Georgina DeJesus was just 14 as she finished school on the chilly afternoon of April 2, 2004.

Every year for the next nine years her family and friends would hold a vigil for her, desperately hoping for some new clues that would lead to her being found.

Among those who gathered each spring, it would later emerge, was Arlene Castro, the daughter of the man now suspected of being behind the kidnapping and the last person to see her before her disappearance.

Gina had been grounded for smoking a few days before she vanished, prompting speculation that she had run away.

But as days went by authorities became convinced she was abducted.

Police sniffer dogs later traced Gina's trail for part of her walk from school to home, but had no other leads.

Residents were asked to look out for the seventh-grade pupil's pierced ears and birthmark on her right leg.

Her disappearance, coming almost a year after Amanda Berry's, prompted suggestions of a serial attacker.

Yet it appeared to offer few clues to local authorities as to who might have taken the girls. In 2006, police took in two men for questioning over Gina's disappearance.

Yet they were released after a search of their home was fruitless.

The family and friends who gathered at annual vigils never gave up. Her cousin Sylvia Colon said yesterday: "We were living every day in the hope she would come home – and she did." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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