Police and family members are still searching for a girl who disappeared from Bridgeport nearly 13 years ago, and authorities are offering a $62,000 reward in exchange for information on her whereabouts.
Bianca Lebron went missing on Nov. 7, 2001 as she was about to start her day at Elias Howe Elementary on Clinton Avenue. She was 10 years old when she disappeared and is now 23.
"It's the worst feeling ever," her mother, Carmelita Torres, said Wednesday. "It's not like somebody passed away. You know where that person's at. We don't know where my daughter's at. It's very, very, very hard."
Police said the fifth-grader was waiting with other students to enter school that morning when she told classmates she was leaving to accompany an "uncle" on a shopping trip.
She got into his beat-up, older-model van and hasn't been seen since.
"We miss her. We love her. We want her home," said her great aunt, Gertrude Reboira. "She's our family."
The case has stalled, but police and family members are not giving up.
“I believe there are people who have information that can help us,” said Bridgeport police Det. John Burke, the lead investigator in the case, in a news release. “We want to bring her home. The Police Department has not forgotten about Bianca. The community has not forgotten her. We need their help.”
Family members said the city and state is offering $62,000 to anyone who can help them put together the pieces and hopefully bring Bianca home safe.
"Somebody out there has to know something," Reboira said through tears. "Just come through, you know."
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Burke at 203-581-5183.