Washington police in Tacoma released the age progression photo of missing tot Teekah Lewis last week “in the hopes of solving one of the area’s oldest” cases of missing children, according to CNN.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Teekah, 2 at the time of her disappearance, vanished from the New Frontier Lanes in Tacoma on January 23, 1999. She was there with her family: her mom, aunts, uncles, and friends were bowling in lanes 7 and 8. It was league night at the local bowling alley.
Teekah was just 10 feet away from her mother, Theresa Czapieski, when she vanished. She wore a white and green “Tweety Bird” shirt, white pants, and Air Jordan shoes.
“While family and friends bowled, the 3-foot [sic] girl played at the wheel of a video arcade game. When Theresa`s brother got up to bowl, Mom says she looked away from her baby girl for less than a minute, and when she looked back, she was gone,” police previously said.
Theresa told police she searched the New Frontier bowling alley in Tacoma thoroughly. She said Teekah was shy and afraid of strangers; no one at the bowling saw the child leaving.
“They said they didn’t see nothing, so whoever took her, took her within seconds,” Theresa told CNN.
The bowling alley didn’t have security cameras at the time, neither inside nor outside. However, an eye witness reported seeing a “1980’s or early 1990s maroon–colored car, possibly a Pontiac Grand Am with tinted windows, speeding away from the bowling alley parking lot,” Detective Lindsey Wade previously said.
Despite the vehicle information and massive searches, Teekah has never been found.
“At this point, we don’t have any evidence, any physical evidence. We have no body. And while that remains the case, there is always a chance that she is still somewhere out there. It’s a big mystery,” Tacoma Police Detective Julie Dier told CNN.
Teekah would now be in her mid-20s. The age-progression photo reportedly brought tears to her mother’s eyes, who hopes that if her daughter is out there alive somewhere, she is happy and safe.
“If she’s out there and she sees this, know you have five sisters that want to meet you. You have a mom and (an) enormous number of aunts and uncles that are just waiting for you to come home. We know it’s been almost 24 years, and I’m sure you don’t know this but we want to know you. We want to bring you home, because I’ve never given up on you. I will not stop looking for you until you’re found.”
Anyone with information about the case should contact Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County at 1-800-222-TIPS. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest/charges.
[Featured image: FACES Laboratory at Louisiana State University; Handout]