MILWAUKEE -- A DNA test administered to a woman in Ohio proved she is not missing Milwaukee girl Alexis Patterson, Milwaukee Police said Thursday.
Patterson went missing in 2002 while walking roughly one block from her home to school near 49th and Garfield.
She was just seven years old.
Last week, police said they were investigating whether a woman now living in Ohio was Patterson, after a tip from that woman’s ex-husband.
The man, who TODAY’S TMJ4 is simply identifying as Josh, said he still believes his ex-wife could be Patterson.
“Once I thought she was Alexis, my intention was to prove she was - and finally get the truth on who her family really was,” Josh said by phone from Ohio. “But I guess we're not there yet.”
The woman denied to TODAY’S TMJ4 that she could possibly be Patterson. She also said, while her heart goes out to Patterson’s family, she was agitated by all the attention.
Milwaukee Police said the investigation into Patterson’s disappearance continues.
State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), who’s maintained a close relationship with Patterson’s family, said the news was devastating.
“She was prepared this may be the reality,” Taylor said of Patterson’s mother. She said the two would likely meet Thursday afternoon.
“There are still questions that have to be answered, for that woman, frankly,” Taylor said. “There’s also still hope Alexis will be found.”
In Patterson’s old neighborhood, people said they were saddened by the results of the DNA test.
“I was praying it was a match,” said Margie Holly. “I know everybody else was too. We were hoping this was the end.”
“It’s so sad,” said Sondra Jackson. “I know the family needs closure.”
“All we can do is keep hoping they do find her, well and safe,” Jackson said.