Five years later, Austin teenager Yasmin Acree remains missing

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Jan. 15th marks the fifth year a promising teenager, Yasmin Acree, has been missing from her home.

There has not been a trace of her whereabouts. Her adopted mother, Rose Starnes, other family members and local clergy will gather for prayer at her home where she was last seen.

“We can only imagine how advanced this investigation would be had the Chicago police not mishandled the evidence associated with this case,” said the Rev. Marshall Hatch of the New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church in a press release.

The Chicago Police Department did sustain a complaint that officers mishandled material evidence and other aspects of the investigation had been compromised.

Starnes said she feels the painful absence of Acree and is concerned about the deafening silence surrounding the case. However, she still has hope that she will be found.

“It is an indictment on our police force and mainstream society that there is nonchalance and prejudiced conclusions drawn when it comes to missing African-American and other children of color,” said Pastor Cy Fields, president of the Leaders Network, in a statement.

Acree, 15, was a freshman honor student at Austin Polytechnical Academy when she disappeared. She attended the Greater St. John Bible Church and often spent recreation time at the West Lawndale YMCA.

A reward of $7,000 is offered for the person who provides information leading to Acree.

The prayer vigil and press conference will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 15 at Starnes’ home, 4842 W. Congress Pkwy.

Contact Pastor Cy Fields at 708-774-9818 for more information.

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