Event to mark birthday of girl who disappeared in '65

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Around 150 people gather at the old Mississippi River bridge overlook in June for a candlelight vigil for Elizabeth Gill, who disappeared 45 years ago near her home on Lorimier Street in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

Cape Girardeau resident Martha Hamilton, members of her family and the community will celebrate this weekend the birthday of her sister Elizabeth Gill, who has been missing more than four decades.

Hamilton and city officials are inviting the community to honor Gill on Saturday at Old St. Vincent's Church, where they'll declare Aug. 21 -- Gill's birthday -- Elizabeth Ann Gill Day.

Gill, the youngest of 10 siblings, went missing from her home June 13, 1965, when she was 2 years old. She was last seen playing in her yard on Lorimier Street.

"We're certainly willing to do anything we can do to at least show our support," said Cape Girardeau City Council member Loretta Schneider, who will present a proclamation at the event at 10 a.m.

A brief ceremony, to include a balloon launch, will follow the reading of the proclamation.

The event comes two months after the family and hundreds of community members gathered for a candlelight vigil at the former Mississippi River bridge site.

"This proclamation supports Cape Girardeau's commitment to Missouri's missing children while underscoring the need for enhanced communication, safeguards and the necessity of the crucial 48-hour intervention after a child's disappearance," Hamilton said.

In June, Hamilton said investigators were pursuing a lead out of the northeast part of the country.

"They've progressed a lot from that," she said Tuesday. "We've located some people that would possibly be persons of interest. ... They were in the area at the time."

The FBI and Cape Girardeau police will be conducting interviews with those people.

Saturday's gathering is sponsored by Missouri Missing, a not-for-profit organization in Jefferson City that helps raise awareness about missing children and adults.

"I think it's so important to the family. They are taking it one step at a time and are so hopeful they will find her," Schneider said.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent addresses:

50 S. Spanish St., Cape Girardeau, MO

325 S. Spanish St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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