Community holds hopeful vigil for Ilene Misheloff

January 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The parents of a missing girl are refusing to give up 21 years after she disappeared. As they have done so many times since Ilene Misheloff vanished all those years ago, they brought people together Thursday night to keep the clues coming.

Thursday night was not a meeting or an anniversary anyone is celebrating. No one is looking forward to facing the fact that 21 years ago Ilene disappeared while walking home from school.

"I have worried for 21 years what's been happening to her, what she's been put through and just want her back," said Maddi Misheloff, Ilene's mother.

The community of family, friends, and strangers, walked in silence.

"It is very difficult for us to do this," said Mike Misheloff, Ilene's father.

Still, they feel they have to.

They are hoping this annual vigil will spark interest in this cold case. The last viable lead came in September when Dublin police were steered toward Philip Garrido's Antioch home. He is accused of kidnapping and holding Jaycee Duggard captive for 18 years.

"There were certain similarities that came up in tips as far as vehicles and things of that nature that would lead us to believe that there may be some kind of connection between the Garrido and Misheloff case," said Dublin police Sgt. Nate Schmidt.

After digging up Gariddo's back yard, Dublin police found nothing linking the suspect to Ilene Misheloff.

"When you think about the effect of this, that they lost their daughter, Dublin's lost daughter, and it's been 21 years, they can't move on, there's no closure, it just opens it up," said Dublin resident Connie Spense.

Disappointment has become part of life for this family, but for the first time in a long time, the Misheloffs have hope.

"Jaycee was gone a long time and Ilene has been gone a long time. Jaycee came back, so we're hoping the same thing will happen with Ilene," said Mike.

On average Dublin police told ABC7 they receive only about four leads a month for Ilene Misheloff.