Remembering Mikelle Biggs, 19 years after her disappearance

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

For 19 years, a Mesa family has lived in agony. That’s how long Mikelle Biggs, who was 11 years old back in 1999, has been missing.

“One of my fears, and I used to dream about this when I was little, is that she (Mikelle) would be found and she would come home and she wouldn’t remember us because of whatever she went through, “said Kimber Biggs on Friday morning as she remembered her sister Mikelle.

For the past five years, Kimber, who was 9 at the time of Mikelle’s disappearance, has taken on the role of being the Biggs’ family spokeswoman. She 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.

[RELATED: Father of Mikelle Biggs talks about his daughter's disappearance]

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. 

[RELATED: 'Missing in Arizona' event planned for families, friends]

Remembering Jan. 2, 1999

We asked Kimber about the day her sister disappeared. She recounts how Mikelle had come home on that cold January day after spending the night at a friend’s house.

“We spent the day playing outside. She was riding my new bike I had gotten for my birthday,” she adds.

Kimber says Mikelle heard the ice cream truck music nearby and asked their mother for money. Mikelle was waiting for the ice cream truck to arrive when Kimber says she decided to go inside the girls’ home to get a jacket. Kimber went back outside to get Mikelle to come inside as it was quickly getting dark.

“The sun was setting; it was slightly foggy. The street lights were coming on and my brand new bike was in the road with the tire spinning, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it,” she tells us. 

Kimber says she yelled out for Mikelle but she was nowhere to be found. She went to a neighbor’s house to see if she’d gone in there and nothing. She recalls what must have been happening with whoever had taken Mikelle.

“I’m sure they heard me yelling for her. Whoever took her was probably still around the corner,” she adds.

That day changed Kimber’s life forever. During our interview, she showed us Mikelle’s red teddy bear, her picture and her favorite piece of artwork. She tells her son his aunt Mikelle is an angel and that she’s watching him from heaven. She’s taken on the mission of keeping her sister alive in the Biggs’ life, one day at a time.

“My main thing is (and I always say this), I’m not going to stop until I have answers. For the rest of my life if that’s what it takes. I’m going to search for justice and search for the peace my family deserves.

We reached out to the Mesa Police Department for an update on any leads they’ve received. While thousands of leads poured in to the department back in 1999, to this date none of those leads have led to Mikelle’s whereabouts. The department considers this a cold case.

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