Melissa Rubio, a 15-year-old girl who has suffered from depression, has been missing for more than a month.
Her mother said that she last saw her early March 6 at their home at 4450 NW Third St in Miami. The teen, who was wearing a gray sweater and dark gray sweatpants, was supposed to get on the school bus but didn’t.
Lilien López said that she heard the bus honking, but when she went outside, Melissa was nowhere to be found.
On Friday evening, Melissa’s family held a candlelight vigil with more than 50 family members, friends and co-workers.
“We need to send a message to the community to help us try to find her,” López said. “Please don’t do any harm to Melissa. She is only a child.”
She described Melissa as a quiet girl with a few good friends. While she acknowledged her daughter suffers from depression, López described her as family-oriented who enjoyed playing with her 8-month-old sister Alyssa.
“We need her here. We love her, we miss her. Even her little sister is feeling that she isn’t here at home,” Lopez said.
During the vigil, Pastor Emilia Ponce from Centro Cristiano Adonai in Hialeah led the group in prayer.
In Spanish, Ponce told the group that they need to believe God will protect her from evil.
Melissa’s 14-year-old cousin, Karla Ledesma, hopes the media attention will bring Melissa back home.
“It might show her how much we miss her, how much we love her and how much support we will always have for her.”
Also in attendance at the vigil was Carlos Aguilar, who said he knows what the family is going through. Aguilar is the father of Christian Aguilar, the University of Florida freshman who was found dead in a rural, wooded area of Levy County in 2012. He was 18.
Pedro Bravo, who prosecutors say was jealous over the relationship Aguilar had with Bravo’s ex-girlfriend, was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Carlo Aguilar spearheads an organization, the Christian Aguilar Search and Rescue Foundation, that helps people organize search parties for missing persons, working with trained K-9s.
“Time is essential in this case,” Aguilar said. “We have to be more aggressive in getting more information to bring her home.”