Family, Friends Remember Girl Missing 6 Years

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By Allison Brown

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It has been nearly six years since Ashley Summers went missing, but her family is using an important milestone to help get the word out about their loved one.

On Sunday, Summers turned 20 years old, so family and friends came together for a bittersweet birthday celebration.

They gathered at West 110th Street and Lorain Avenue, where they sang "Happy Birthday," released balloons, then walked Cleveland streets and passed out informational fliers about the young woman.

"I want to bring her home, get her face out there," said Debra Summers, Ashley's aunt. "Get as much attention as we can."

It has been a long time since the family has been with Ashley. The teen was last seen back on July 6, 2007, in the area of West 96th Street and Madison Avenue near her home.

"I feel that she's out there somewhere, and I hope that by doing this somebody will see her and say something," said Summers.

Other members of Ashley's family share the same feelings of renewed hope.

"We have teams of people going around, handing them [fliers] out to different businesses, and people -- handing them out to cars, just trying to get as many people aware she is missing from the same neighborhood where the other girls were found
earlier in May," said Linda Summers, Ashley's step-grandmother.

The fact Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were found safe back in May has helped many in Sunday's group because the women were found after years of being missing. They said it truly affirms that miracles do happen.

"That brought a lot of hope to us. It kind of livened us back up again and made us even more determined to find Ashley," Linda said.

Several people at Sunday's birthday event don't even know the Summers family. There was simply an emotional connection for those who know Ashley is still missing.

"Being a mother and knowing it could have been one of mine, and none of our children are invincible, that's what brings me out," said Deanna Dawson, who was there to help.

The Summers family is asking anyone with information about Ashley's disappearance to call police right away.

"If you've seen Ashley, please let us know that you've seen her we can let her know that we love her and want her home," Linda said.

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