Rumors taking toll on family of woman missing for 14 years
MILWAUKEE -- Mystery solved -- or mistaken identity? There are some who believe seven-year-old Alexis Patterson, who disappeared in Milwaukee on May 3rd, 2002, is now an adult, living in Ohio.
There are a lot of rumors circulating on social media -- as Milwaukee police chase a new lead in this case.
FOX6 News learned on Friday, July 8th Milwaukee police have received a tip from someone in Ohio -- claiming a woman he knows may be Patterson.
Police said they are awaiting results of DNA testing "to determine if this person is Alexis Patterson." A statement released on Monday, July 11th said the following: "There is no evidence at this time to suggest that the person in Ohio is Alexis Patterson."
"I'm praying that this is a wonderful ending -- a joyous, marvelous ending," Babette Hoskins said.
Alexis Patterson was disappeared from the area near Hi-Mount Boulevard Elementary School 14 years ago.
Police are now investigating a report she is living in another state.
See images of Patterson below:
"I'm waiting for it to be proven. All this gossip and all these stories -- it's just a lot of mayhem that's going on right now," Hoskins said.
Hoskins was close to the Patterson family when Alexis disappeared. She is now urging people to wait for official answers in this case.
Some posts to social media are blaming the family for what may have happened to the seven-year-old girl last seen in Milwaukee.
"The family is, right now, going through pure hell I believe. I'm thinking they're getting all these different phone calls. I think actually Ayanna is being harassed in different kinds of ways," Hoskins said.
Hoskins said she has spoken with family members recently, but not Alexis' mother, Ayanna Patterson.
"At this point, they are saying the wrong things. No mother wants to hear bull stuff, negative stuff about their child. They have other things going through their minds like, is she OK? How's she been? Stuff like that," Hoskins said.
Hoskins said she is waiting for officials proof -- to see whether the DNA testing comes back confirming Alexis Patterson is living in Ohio.
"Wherever she is, I hope she just stays put, stays calm and stays prayed up. I'm praying for you Ayanna. Love you all," Hoskins said.
Milwaukee police have not confirmed whether the woman in Ohio is, in fact, Alexis Patterson. MPD has not offered a timeline as to when DNA testing could be complete.
At the time of her disappearance, Alexis was 3 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 42 pounds -- with brown eyes and brown hair. Alexis was last seen wearing a red hooded jacket with grey stripes, a purple shirt, blue jeans and white Nike tennis shoes.
In the 14 years since she disappeared, officials have released age-progressed photos and reminded the community that Patterson has a scar below her right eye and a bump on her left pinky -- all in the hope that someday, someone would come forward with information about her fate.
The photo below, on the left is of Alexis prior to her disappearance. The photo on the right is an age-progressed composite created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. It was created to show what Alexis may look like at 17 years old.