CHICAGO — Every year on Sept. 24, family, friends and even complete strangers gather to celebrate Kierra Cole’s birthday.
Family of Cole view it as a tradition to keep her memory alive, and to bring awareness to her missing persons case. Cole vanished without a trace almost four years ago on Oct. 2, 2018, in South Chicago. At the time, she was 26 years old and pregnant with her first child.
“She couldn’t wait to be come a mother,” said Karen Phillips, Cole’s mother. “It’s just sad that four years later, we don’t have her or her baby or nothing.”
There haven’t been many developments in Cole’s case, but investigators released new footage of her mysterious disappearance back in June.
Surveillance video obtained by CPD show Cole making two ATM withdrawals and a person of interest with Cole at her apartment the night of Oct. 2, and then again at her home the next day.
Police still have no one in custody for the case though.
“What they do have, I feel is enough to bring him in,” Phillips said. “But they tell me it’s not enough.”
Another grieving mother of two long missing children is LaShann Walker, whose 28-year-old daughter, Diamond Bynum, and 2-year-old grandson, King Walker, have been missing since 2015.
Walker was one of the people in attendance of Cole’s birthday celebration Saturday. She said she hopes progress can be made because without answers on what happened to their family members, the pain of their absence will never change.
“We’re hurting,” Walker said. “We’re definitely hurting very badly about our family, our loved ones.”