Ohio girls` rescue sparks hope for other missing-child cases

Ohio girls` rescue sparks hope for other missing-child cases

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children plays a vital role in many missing children cases, providing age enhanced photos and support.

Statewide, there are 95 missing children posted on its website, including many in the Chicago-area.

Yasmin Acree is one such young face, displayed on the first page of the state's National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website. Acree was 15 years old when she was last seen at home on January 15, 2008. An age progression image on their site shows what she may look like when she turns 21 in October.

"Yasmin has been gone from us only 5 years and that seems like two decades," Ira Acree explains.

Acree's mother joined Dr. Ira Acree, Yasmin's cousin, on his radio show Tuesday night.

"When I seen the news, I was happy and sad at the same time," Roe Starnes, Yasmin's mother said. "But it gave me rejuvenated faith."

Family members say the three women and child rescued in Cleveland after more than a decade in captivity has sparked hope for Yasmin's safe return.

Rachel Mellon is another missing teen, who was last seen in Bolingbrook 17 years ago. A website dedicated to Rachel and other missing children's' families, RachelFind.com, shows what she might look like today.

"It's always a wonderful thing when I hear that missing people have been found," Rachel's father Jeff Skemp says. "It also gives me hope that someday Rachel and my miracle will come through."

"We give support to other families of missing children," Skemp adds. "We're closely associated with Diamond and Tionda Bradley."

More than 10 years later, the Bradley family is still searching for Tionda and Diamond. The sisters were last seen on July 6, 2001 when their mother left for work early that morning.

"The emotions go up, you know, when you have a missing persons out there somewhere that could possibly be in the same situation as the girls," the Bradley sister's aunt said in a phone interview.

FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde explains what can happen when a missing children's case turns cold.

"Somebody who may have been reluctant to come forward with information pertinent to the case, might feel a little bit more confident with coming to us and sharing that information," Hyde says.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children now provides support to survivors of kidnapping. It has also sent a team to Cleveland to provide support to the women and their family members.

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