Father Refuses to Give Up Hope on Missing Daughter

Published January 12, 2010

The father and daughter of Kimberly Arrington, who went missing a dozen years ago in Montgomery, Ala., still wait for her to come walking through the door every day.

"I've been going through this for the last 12 years, and I feel like this might be my last chance of ever seeing my daughter or somebody recovering her," Walter Arrington told CNN in asking the news network to broadcast a fresh report about his daughter.

Kimberly was "a good girl" who enjoyed listening to music, dancing and learning computers at school, where she was well-behaved, her father said.

“Someone may have asked her for directions and forced her into a car as she walked to a CVS pharmacy near her home Montgomery, Ala., on the day before Halloween, October 30, 1998,” CNN reports.

Says Walter: "Most people liked her, and she was very friendly towards everybody. I felt like maybe that's part of the reason why they got her.''

He was heading to work the last time he saw his daughter, according to CNN. She was already talking about Christmas, he said, asking about her gifts. That's the picture that stays in his mind.

"I can hear her talking and see her talking from that day now,'' Walter Arrington said. "And I can't go on any further, because I'm at a standstill until I find out what happened to her. ... It is something that I carry with me every day.''

Kimberly Arrington left the family's home about 5 p.m., telling her mother where she was going, according to police. And then she simply vanished.

Kim Arrington's mother, who was ill, died in 2005.

"It wasn't easy for her, either,'' Walter Arrington said, recalling that one of the last things his wife asked was whether he will continue to look for Kim.

Whatever her fate, Kimberly Arrington's name lives on. Six years ago, her sister Jennifer named her daughter Kim, after her missing aunt. The girl, who knows that her mother's sister is missing, often asks when she's going to meet "Auntie Kim."

In 12 years, authorities in Montgomery say, there have been few clues and no strong leads. Scores of interviews with family members, friends, classmates locals have turned up no witnesses, says Capt. Keith Barnett of the Montgomery Police Department.

"We had nobody that saw her get snatched up. Nobody found her purse or jacket or anything on the side of the road,'' Barnett told CNN. "She just disappeared. She left home and disappeared. For an older girl to be abducted and vanish – if that's what really happened – would be unusual,” since most abductors target a younger child because they're ''easier to manipulate, to get in the vehicles, easier to control.''

At the time she went missing, Arrington was 5'4'' and 110 pounds. She was wearing a gray Bugle Boy shirt with a collar, light blue jeans and white Reebok sneakers with gray trim. She has a scar on her stomach. She would be 27 years old now.

Anyone with more information about Arrington's disappearance is asked to call the Montgomery Police Department at 1-334-241-2790 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

"Whether we find her deceased or whether we find her alive, we'd like to bring some kind of closure to the family,'' Barnett said.

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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