April 21, 2012 – Family Holds Vigil for Missing Amanda Berry

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By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News

CLEVELAND -- It's been nine long years of pain, wonder and worry for those closest to Amanda Berry. Almost a decade. Yet for Amanda's only sister, Beth Serrano, time has stood still.

"There's days where it feels like it's so fresh because there's no new leads, it feels like day one. But it feels like so long because--my heart--I just miss her so much," Serrano explains through tears.

17-year-old Amanda left work at the Burger King at West 110th and Lorain on April 21, 2003, and was heading home to celebrate her birthday.

She never made it.

Saturday evening, at the very spot where it seems Amanda simply vanished, many gathered, hands held, to share in her absence.

"Today is Amanda Berry. 9 years! I've suffered 8, they suffer 9. And it should be enough!" exclaimed Nancy Ruiz, mother of Gina DeJesus, who disappeared just weeks after Amanda.

Moments later, the group marched to retrace Amanda's steps, chanting her name.

"We want her to know we love her. We want her to know, we're never going to stop looking for her," said longtime family friend Victoria Dickens.  “Where Amanda's at right now, she's not at peace. Her family's not at peace. and we just want her to come home. It's been way too long."

Amanda has become one of Cleveland's most notorious missing persons cases.  A notoriety that was never asked for, and one that taunts.

"Constant worry, stress, just knowing, is she okay? Is she coming home? What's being done to her? What has happened to her? You never know what you're gonna hear, what's the outcome gonna be" Serrano says.

And so, the prayers keep coming, and the candles keep burning, in hopes of an end that will bring Amanda Berry home.

The FBI continues to search for her and is working on another age-progression photo of what she might look like today, at age 26.