Ten Years After Going Missing, Mom Still Holds Out Hope

By Jonathan Cooper | jcooper@kq2.com

Published 07/02 2014 09:11PM

Updated 07/02 2014 10:16PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  It's been nearly a decade since Tammy Mack has seen her daughter.

"We love and miss her so much," Mack said. "She'll never be forgotten."

Mack is the mother of Ashley Martinez, a missing girl from St. Joseph.

"It's been a very hard ten years," Mack said. "Words can't even describe what we've been through."

Ashley was last seen at Krug Pool in 2004. Mack had dropped her off, but when she returned, Ashley was missing. Sunday marks ten years since her disappearance. But for her friends and family, they say they've never given up hope.

"We want to bring her home, one way or another, we want her home where she belongs," Mack said.

To help keep Ashley's memory alive, Mack and others will hold a candlelight vigil on Sunday at the spot she was last seen.

"Just kind of a dedication and memory to let Ashley know we are still thinking of her just as if she was missing yesterday," she said.

This anniversary is nothing new for the family. Every year, Mack and others pause to remember Ashley.

The case even grabbed national attention. In 2005, she was featured on America's Most Wanted.

"Trying to find a needle in a haystack is where we are at, at this point," Mack said in an interview with KQ2 in 2006.

Mack says the leads have died down in recent years. The St. Joseph Police Department has a detective still assigned to the case. But with each passing year, Mack knows the chances of finding her diminish.

"We've had some tips come in, but they lead to dead ends," she said.

So whenever Mack misses her, she says she simply goes to the place where she last saw her daughter.

"It's like a memento for me to come here because I can't help but see her walking into the pool," she said.

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