, 2022-05-11 20:50:49,
(NewsNation) —Alexis Patterson was 7 years old when she walked to school with her stepfather in Milwaukee. She never made it home.
That was 20 years ago, on May 3, 2002. Her mother has not given up searching for her. In fact, she believes she may have found the girl in 2016, but says police are covering it up.
“She was an amazing little girl. She was my sun, my shining star,” Alexis’ mother Ayanna Patterson said. “She still is my shining star.”
Patterson’s disappearance at the time was overshadowed by another missing persons case, one that gripped the nation and dominated headlines — the Utah kidnapping of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart.
Smart’s photo was plastered everywhere within hours. The FBI got involved and a $250,000 reward was offered.
Alexis did not receive the same treatment.
Things moved much slower surrounding her disappearance. The FBI did not get involved until three days after Patterson vanished. One week later, a $10,000 reward was offered.
Smart was found alive nine months after her abduction. Patterson is still missing.
Teachers noted the little girl for her smile and ambition. Her mother says she “loved school on every level.”
It was at school that Alexis went missing.
Her stepfather says he walked her one block to school the morning she went missing and watched her walk up to the playground before he returned home. Her teachers say she never made it inside.
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