Mother, Iraq War veteran still missing after a year

ByWill Jones WLS logo
Monday, January 9, 2017
Mother, Iraq War veteran still missing after a year
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Brenda Jackson

PARK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- The family of a 31-year-old Park Forest mother and Iraq War veteran who has been missing for a year continue to search for answers.

Brenda Jackson, a mother of six, disappeared on Jan. 3, 2016 after she was dropped off at her home in the 200-block of Arcadia.

Her mother, Maria Gonzalez, said Christmas was difficult for the family, especially Jackson's children who range in age from 1 to 11.

"We didn't have a Christmas. There was no Christmas," she said. "They keep asking us 'Where's mom? When's mom going to come to get us?'"

"Every time I hear somebody is missing, I want to call them because I know what they are going through," Gonzalez said.

Days after Jackson went missing, family and friends searched in the freezing cold and snow for clues at a forest preserve. Searches turned up empty.

Gonzalez said her daughter would not just walk away from her family.

As much as it pains her to admit it, she doesn't believe her daughter is still alive.

"No, I don't. My husband does but I, as a mother, and I just want closure. I want somebody to just tell me this is where she's at, put it to rest so her children can have closure so we can have closure," Gonzalez said.

Jackson is Hispanic and about 5 feet tall, weighing 125 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She has a scar on her upper chest and star tattoos on both sides of her neck, as well as a tattoo on her ring finger and a tattoo of "Michael" on her left inner wrist.

A $3,000 reward is being offered for information about Jackson.

Anyone with information about Jackson is asked to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at 708-748-1309.