Mother of missing Park Forest veteran says 2016 case needs more attention

Maria Gonzalez remembers the last time she saw her daughter, Brenda Gonzalez-Jackson. It was January of 2016.

"She had spent New Years weekend with us and her children," she said. "And she was in a very good, happy mood."

Gonzalez first spoke with ABC7 just a week after the mother of six from Park Forest and Iraq war veteran went missing. Her loved ones searched through a forest preserve in Park Forest.

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Gonzalez said she's been living nightmare.

"No matter how old she is still my baby. My first daughter. I see things now that remind me of her so much and it's heartbreaking," she said.

She said Gonzalez-Jackson wouldn't have run away from her family. Her daughter's youngest child was just four months old at the time.

RELATED: Mother, Iraq War veteran still missing after a year

"When I hear about cases that come up my heart just breaks because I know what the mother is going through," she said.

Gonzalez said her daughter's case hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.

"I just wish that there was more publicity and more work on that case," she said. "Nobody is reaching out to me. It's like oh well. This is just another case like so many minority cases that have happened."

Gonzalez said she wants more resources put into finding out what happened to her daughter.

"Just give us some updates. Don't leave us hanging like this and that's what it is you guys have just left us hanging and that's not fair and it's just not fair," she said.

ABC7 reached out to Park Forest Police. Shortly after the story aired, Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino responded to our inquiry. He said the Gonzalez-Jackson case is of high importance and they're consulting with the FBI.
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