The family of two sisters missing for nearly seven years has renewed hope for their safe return after a forensic artist said an online photo of a mystery teen is the older child, according to reports.
Lois Gibson, a forensic artist with the Houston Police Department, said the online photo is that of Tionda Bradley, who disappeared at age 10 on July 6, 2001, from Chicago's south side with her 3-year-old sister, Diamond, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
"I took a hard look at them (the photos) for the first time (this week), and I do not say this lightly, but it's her," Gibson told the Sun-Times.
Gibson told the paper that the girl in the online photo has the same nose, nostrils and lips as Tionda.
The news has stepped up the family's search for the two sisters.
"Now that we've been assured it's Tionda, everybody's going to have to step up," Shelia Bradley-Smith, the girls' great-aunt, told the paper. "They're going to have to get computers, they're going to have to use the Patriot Act, they're going to have to find her now," she said of law enforcement officials.
Tionda, who would now be 17, has a quarter-sized scar on her left forearm, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Diamond, who would now be 10, has a scar on the left side of her head in her hairline. There is a $30,000 reward for information leading to their whereabouts.
The Chicago Police Department told MyFOXChicago.com they are aware of the photos but there are no substantial leads in the case.