Message on dollar bill leads to new look at 1999 case of missing girl

MESA, Ariz.  — A missing child in Arizona, Mikelle Biggs, is in the headlines once again.

Mesa police are looking into a strange lead, according to 3TV/CBS 5.

A dollar bill has been found in Wisconsin with a message that says it was written by Mikelle.

Mikelle disappeared from outside her Mesa home in 1999. The 11-year-old was waiting for an ice-cream truck when she vanished.

Her sister, Kimber Biggs, was likely the last person to see her.

Kimber says the new discovery almost made her sick with anticipation. “It was just out of nowhere, and I didn’t expect to see it, and I didn’t know how to take it,” she said.

The message, written on the edges of the 2009 bill, reads: “My name is Mikel Biggs kidnapped From Mesa AZ I’m Alive.”

Mesa Police are looking into a strange lead. A dollar bill has been found in Wisconsin with a message that says it was written by Mikelle. (courtesy: Mesa Police Dept./KTVK via CNN )

But on closer inspection, the missing girl’s name is two letters short. Kimber says her sister would have never abbreviated or misspelled her name.

“Her name was Mikelle and it was spelled that way and that was the only way to say it,” said Kimber.

It leads her to believe this may be a fake.

“Worst case scenario it is a hoax, someone playing a very cruel joke,” said Kimber. “At the same time, I can’t get too mad — it could have been just some kid,; maybe they don’t really understand the gravity of what they did.”

Mesa police detectives are looking into the evidence.

“Any time we get new information that may resolve this case and give closure to the family and community we make every effort to validate or invalidate the lead,” said Mesa Police Detective Steve Berry.

Det. Berry says it is very difficult to track where a bill has been. It also has the potential to have been handled by thousands of people, so the chances of finding DNA or fingerprints are slim.

They plan to look anyway.

“If there’s any information that can be garnered from that, we would certainly find that,” said Det. Berry.

Mesa PD says it will also do a handwriting analysis on the note.

Biggs’ family has never given up hope of finding out what happened to Mikelle.

Her sister has created a Facebook page called ‘Justice for Mikelle Biggs’ where she posts some of her family’s feelings and outlooks on Mikelle.

It was there where she posted that she and her family feel that Mikelle has died and now want to focus finding out where her body remains.

“When people (I know they mean well) tell me, ‘I hope she’s found one day,’ I am like ‘thanks, but, that would mean she’s been tortured for 20 years.’ I hope that’s not the case. I know it may sound odd to people but they don’t understand where our family is at,” she adds.

These last 19 years without Mikelle have definitely marked and changed who Kimber is. “I was definitely the rebel and Mikelle was very studious,” she adds. Kimber, now 28, is herself a parent of a 5-year-old boy.

Kimber says Mikelle’s disappearance has taken its toll on her parents, Tracy and Darien Biggs. The Biggs have since moved to Utah.

“I want so much for my parents to know what happened to their daughter. A parent shouldn’t have to bury their child. We had to bury an empty casket which makes me feel even worse because my parents don’t know what happened,” said Kimber.

Mikelle would now be just over 30 years old. The National Missing Persons Database has created an age progression photo of what she might have looked like at age 25.

Over the years, thousands of leads and tips have poured into the Mesa Police Department. But to date, none of those leads has led to Mikelle’s whereabouts.

For a family that has already gone through so much, Kimber says even if it’s a hoax, there are positives that could come from the note.

“It got some light on her case again. It got some attention; that’s the bright side of it,” she said. “Hopefully it will reach that person that knows something.”