FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been nearly seven months since the family of 19-year-old Katelin Akens last saw their daughter, but they are still not giving up hope.
She was last seen at the Springfield Mall in Spotsylvania this past December.
Today, the family, along with volunteers from the Aware Foundation were handing out these fliers at a Fredericksburg shopping Center.
Akens mother told 8News that she’s not giving up on finding her missing daughter.
“It gives you a lot of hope that people are still out there. That they still care,” Lisa Sullivan, Akens mother, said.
Akens was last seen by her step-father who says he dropped her off at the mall. Katelin was supposed to catch a flight to Arizona, but two days later, her luggage, wallet and plane ticket were found in a ditch in Spotsylvania.
Kenny Jarels, from the Aware Foundation believes someone in the community knows what happened.
“To the person or persons that know what happened to Katelin, that day is [now] to come forward [to] get it off your conscious,” Jarels said. “Come forth, do the right thing. Let this family have some closure, one way or the other.”
Akens mother said it’s the uncertainty that is so unbearable.
“It’s a nightmare … You don’t know what to think. You don’t know how she’s doing. You don’t know if she’s doing good or bad,” Sullivan said.
After just an hour of being there, a man came up and said he thinks he saw Katelin recently at a nearby Walmart.
Sullivan could hardly hold back her excitement.
“My heart started beating really fast. It was like I didn’t know what to say,” she said.
Jarels said that all tips are turned over to investigators for them to determine if they are legitimate.
“It’s events like this that have generated tips and leads and some of them have proven to be true, and that’s what we are hoping in this case,” he said.
Sullivan asked that if anyone happens to see her on the street, to please, let the Aware Foundation or the police know.
She said, “I really want her back in my life. I want to know if she’s okay. She doesn’t have to come home with me. I just want to know she’s okay.”