CHICAGO - Almost two years since the pregnant mail carrier, Kiera Coles, went missing, her family and friends celebrated her 28th birthday Thursday, as they pleaded for the public to continue searching for her.
"Every day is a struggle for me," said her father, Joseph Coles, who cut a cake on behalf of his missing daughter and grandchild Thursday evening. "If she hears me, I'm out 24 hours a day, walking the streets, knocking on doors still looking for her."
Kiera Coles was three months pregnant with her first child when she went missing on Oct. 2, 2018, near her apartment in the Chatham neighborhood. Her father said authorities are "not doing enough" to find her and begged neighbors to "speak up," offering a nearly $50,000 reward to anyone who leads to her whereabouts.
Although there were initial reports that Chicago police had suspended the investigation in July, saying they'd exhausted their leads, in an emailed statement to The Chicago Tribune, police clarified that they are working jointly with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI to continue the search.
Chicago police added that the case remains a high-risk missing person investigation with potential foul play suspected.
"At this point, anybody with knowledge of her last whereabouts is asked to contact police as we are seeking any information in an attempt to locate her and we won't stop until we do," the statement said.
A doubtful Joseph Coles said he has received little to no information from police and added that he often goes to the 5th District police station, to learn about updates regarding the search of his daughter.
On Thursday night, he was surrounded by leaders of different organizations that have been supporting him and his family in the search for Kiera Coles since the start. They all sang happy birthday to Kiera Coles at a small rendezvous in front of Alulu Brewery and Pub.
Many wore black T-shirts with photos of Kiera Cole on them.
Mack Julion, president of the local chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers, attended the celebration to offer his support for the family.