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Alexis Patterson disappeared 20 years ago today

Alexis Patterson
Posted at 5:20 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 18:32:34-04

MILWAUKEE — It has now been 20 years since then 7-year-old Alexis Patterson disappeared while walking to Hi-Mount Elementary School in Milwaukee on May 3, 2002.

Since her disappearance, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has digitally updated Patterson's picture in hopes someone will recognize her.

“There is still a great effort to keep her image out into the community. That this child is still missing. We want to know what happened to her,” said John Biscoff of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In January of 2021 we learned LaRon Bourgeois, Patterson's stepfather and also the last person to see her before she went missing 20 years ago, was found dead in his home of a suspected drug overdose.

Bourgeois was the last person to see Alexis in 2002. He told police he walked the 7-year-old girl towards Hi-Mount Elementary School. Bourgeois said he saw her cross the street, and students also told police they saw her outside, but teachers said she never made it in.

On the 15th anniversary of her daughter's disappearance in 2017, Ayanna Patterson told us she believes Alexis is still alive.

“I’ve never doubted in my mind she was coming home," said Patterson.

Bourgeois' mother told us her son has believed the same. She said LaRon never stopped hoping Alexis would be found.

Over the years, Ayanna Patterson and Bourgeois divorced. Bourgeois' mom says the two still communicated and he would think about Alexis all the time. They have a different child together and were supposed to be in court Jan. 28, 2021 for a custody hearing.

A former neighbor of Alexis and someone who helped in the search effort, Christopher Schwartz, says he hopes after all this time someone will consider speaking out.

“I've always believed eventually someone would come forward with more information. It’s just anyone’s guess what happened. It’s just so odd that one day she there and the next she is gone," said Schwartz.

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