Stratford Restaurant Hosts Fundraiser for Missing Ansonia 1-Year-Old Girl

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It has been almost two weeks since an Ansonia mother was found beaten to death in her home.

Police continue to search for her missing 1-year-old daughter Vanessa Morales.

At Joey C’s Boathouse in Stratford, a fundraiser was hosted to help support the baby’s family.

“My son was only two when his father was brutally murdered in Bridgeport, so I have a lot of feeling towards this case and I just want to bring that baby home,” said Stacey Colon of Newtown.

Colon didn’t know 43-year-old Christine Holloway, but like so many others she wants Holloway’s 1-year-old daughter Vanessa Morales back home with her family this Christmas.

Loved ones and complete strangers dressed in their Christmas best and dined at Joey C’s for a donation to the family.

Jodi Jacobellis was Holloway's sister-in-law.

“Thank you to the community for all their love and support and prayers and just keep on praying that little Vanessa comes home to us,” said Jacobellis.

When restaurant owner Joseph Catalano heard about the case, he knew he had to do something to help and hoped others would step up too in the spirit of Christmas.

“With the passing of her mother, our last hope is that we’ll find Vanessa and it’d be a great gift for Christmas if she comes back and all this money could be for her and her upbringing," Catalano said.

On Friday, law enforcement sources confirmed to NBC Connecticut that the child’s father, Jose Morales, is a suspect in Holloway's death, but Ansonia police haven’t confirmed that, as the search for Vanessa continues.

“I actually looked at my daughters and I hugged them right away and just to think, that poor baby. I just hope that anything we can do helps that little girl get home,” said Joey C’s employee Gina Sigel, when she heard about the missing child.

“I pray that she’s out there and she’s safe and whoever has her, please bring her home. Her family really needs her,” said Colon.

Vanessa has brown hair and brown eyes. No information was available on what she might be wearing. Police believe she might be in Connecticut and said they don't have any indication that she was taken out of state.

State police and the FBI are helping with the search for Vanessa. Police said they are following leads and that their priority in the case is to find her.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or the FBI at 203-503-5555.

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