23 years missing: Family holds out hope they will find loved one
Stephanie Juarez, of Seattle, is not looking for bargains in downtown Anchorage, she's in search of information.
"I was wondering if you would hang up some signs, we have a missing sister," Juarez asked owners of the Alaska Mint.
It didn't take long for the answer.
"Thank you, we really appreciate it so much," Juarez said.
One sign was down for her, but there are a lot more to go. The family is posting signs wherever they can in the hopes of finding more information about Juarez's sister, Erin Gilbert.
"We want to bring her home. We assume she is not alive, but we owe her every try to continue to look for her," Juarez said.
24-year-old Gilbert vanished on July 1, 1995, when she went to the Girdwood Forest Fair on a first date with Dave Combs. She stayed with Juarez and her husband, who had been assigned to JBER at the time.
Combs told the Anchorage Daily News back then that the couple discovered the lights still on in the car. After the car wouldn't start, he went for help. He returned two hours later and Gilbert was gone.
"It is sort of a wound that does not close. My feeling is determined," Juarez said. "I am determined to find her and find out what happened to her and to bring her home."
Posting the signs involves a lot of leg work, and as more businesses agree to the request, it starts to take a bit of a toll on Juarez.
"It's hard to tell her story in every store, but we'll get it," Juarez said.
Not even cold rain will prevent her and the family from their task — even if it means going door to door.
"She was part of our family," Juarez said."She was an important part of our family and I'm going to find her."
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