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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana • A6

Indianapolis, Indiana
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She was supposed to pick up her 4-year-old son from her house the next morning. She never showed. anguish unique, not even in Indianapolis. Afamily left behind When 24-year-old Jessica Masker disappeared in April 2013, it shattered her family. Her mom sleep.

Her sisters feel comfortable leaving the house by themselves. Her 4-year- old son now terrified of losing sight of his father his bed at night, sleepwalking to hunt down his mom. Masker vanished from southeast side, just north of Garfield Park, after her aunt dropped her off at her house. She had just been discharged from the hospital after a suspected prescription drug overdose. She left her house, and no one has seen her since.

younger sister, Ashley Masker, said Jessica was always laughing and smiling. Jessica and her younger sister, Christina Masker, would bring speakers out onto the porch and dance all day, even as their other siblings yelled at them to turn the music down. Now, every time the song by Brandy plays, it reminds her of Jessica. On 28th birthday in March, the family gathered to release balloons. Jessica has nieces and nephews she has never met.

She know that her youngest son, born prematurely just before she disappeared, pulled through and now thrives. those little things that bother Ashley Masker the most. hope is that Jessica can see the balloons and lanterns, wherever she Masker said. just want her home. We want to live this nightmare Jessica sisters said they feel the police focus on her case as much as they should.

feels like the cops care as much because Jessica is older and they think she just Ashley Masker said. Jessica struggled with drug abuse, so they feel the public and police just write their sister off. But IMPD Sgt. Paul Scott said a lifestyle never plays a role into how heavily police investigate a case. Missing persons cases can be difficult to solve.

There is limited evidence. Witnesses often cooperative or trust police. Detectives stay busy with their work. They focus on as many as 30 cases at a time. Families describe waiting for their child or sibling to come home as made worse by memories that haunt their minds.

Some people, like Angie parents, almost hope someone has their daughter tied up in a basement somewhere. better than the alternative, that their 23-year-old daughter is dead. She has been missing for five months. parents want that for their said Christina Kramer, mom. if she was set up to be sold into human trafficking, at least we have a chance to find her Barlow disappeared after a party Oct.

26, 2016, in Indianapolis. She got a few calls from a man and left the party around 3a.m., according to the person who saw her last. That night, she had texted afriend a screenshot of an address and phone number, with the caption case I go and laughing emojis, Kramer said. Kramer said Barlow had a huge heart. She loved her three younger sisters, all of whom struggled with her disappearance.

The youngest, only 5, will pick up her toy phone and ask to video chat Barlow when she misses her or has an Kramer said. She has picked up that Barlow is gone but quite wrap her head around it. She knows Barlow missed Christmas and blowing out candles with her for her fifth birthday but still hopes show up soon. They all do. Never giving up Although Mustapha Dao has been missing for almost 17 years, his family still holds out hope he will come home.

His childhood bedroom in Brownsburg remains exactly the same as it was when he slept there every night. An old stereo sits in a cabinet. ID badge from when he worked at Kroger hangs on his desk. Birthday presents wrapped in plaid paper sit on top of a shelf. mom, Hah Soly, bear to change anything in his room.

She still sleeps in his bed, she said, crying herself to sleep every night. always Soly said. hope he is strong and alive, and someday when he comes back home, still see him. If we give up, we do Dao vanished July 12, 2000, from Brownsburg after he said he was going to a house. Sometimes family members will see a man who looks like Dao from the back, and catch up to him only to be disappointed when they see his face and realize they were mistaken.

His parents refuse to move or change their phone number, just in case Dao tries to contact them. Such hope always fruitless. Lula Gillespie Miller disappeared from Indiana in 1974, and police were able to track her down in Texas more than 40 years later. In Utah, Jaycee Dugard was abducted at age 11 and rescued by police 18 years later. Still, those are the exceptions.

For most, the uncertainty lingers. If you have any information on a missing persons case, call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 800-222-8477 or 317-262-8477 or report online to IMPD or Crime Stoppers. Follow IndyStar reporter Kara Berg on Twitter: Shattered Continued from 1A MICHELLE STAR Peter Masker, the brother of Jessica Masker, missing since 2013, shows his tattoo of Jessica during a birthday vigil at the family home in Indianapolis on March 18..

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