Reward increased for help finding missing teen

January 15, 2009 3:22:07 PM PST
The reward has been increased for information leading to a missing teenager. Fifteen-year-old Yasmin Acree disappeared one year ago today. "None of our children in this city can be safe until we find out what happened to Yasmin," said Rev. Marshall Hatch, Leaders Network.

Acree vanished from her West Side home January 15, 2008. Acree's adoptive mother, Rose Starns, believes her daughter was abducted.

"If anyone knows anything, I wish they would make a phone call," Rose said, "because we miss Yasmin and want her back at home."

Acree's family made another appeal to the public to help in the search for the 15-year-old high school student, announcing an increased reward of $3,000 for information leading to her whereabouts.

Yasmin's best friend and classmate at Austin PolyTech joined the group and was overcome with emotion.

"My birthday is tomorrow, and it's gonna be kind of hard. Another day, another year she isn't by my side," said Rashida Redmond, Acree's best friend.

During the past year, Yasmin's family fought to keep her case in the headlines. At one point they filed a complaint with the Independent Police Review Authority about how the case was being handled.

"We're not absolutely convinced that this is the case that this is an ongoing high-priority investigation, because here we are one year later with no information," said Rev. Hatch.

Chicago Police joined the family Thursday and said several detectives are on the case, logging thousands of hours, and following up on any tips they get.

"We have several detectives assigned to his case who are eager to find Yasmin, as well as myself," said Karen Sullivan, Chicago Police Department.

Chicago Police go on to say that some of those tips have been reported sightings of Yasmin and that investigators were able to confirm one sighting of her last August in Illinois, so they believe she is alive.

Her case was featured last month on America's Most Wanted and the hope is that , with this increase in reward money, more tips will come in, leading to her.