Iowa (NBC) (07/24/20)— The reward for a 10-year-old girl reported missing in Iowa two weeks ago was increased to $10,000, authorities announced at a news conference Wednesday.
“Our number one goal is to find the person responsible for the disappearance of Breasia and bring that person to justice,” said FBI special agent in charge Kristi Johnson during an update on missing Breasia Terrell.
“We’re also, obviously, working very hard to make sure that the family is supported and that we can do everything that we can to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” she said.
Johnson works with the agency’s Omaha, Nebraska, office which covers Nebraska and Iowa.
Breasia was reported missing on July 10. She was last seen at a home in Davenport earlier that morning, according to a missing person flyer. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops.
The same day she was reported missing, she was entered into the National Crime Information Center database and the FBI got involved.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Johnson said the FBI was increasing the reward to $10,000 for any information that helps authorities locate Breasia or that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in her disappearance.
Breasia’s mother, Aishia Lankford, told NBC’s “Dateline” that her 8-year-old son spent the night of July 9 with his father, Henry Dinkins, and Dinkins’ girlfriend.
Breasia also spent the night after Dinkins offered to watch her, Lankford said.
“She’s close with her brother and wanted to hang out with him,” the mother said. “We had no reason to worry that anything bad would happen.”
Lankford said she checked on her children that night and received a text message from her daughter saying, “Good night, Mama, I love you.”
When Lankford got to work the next morning, Dinkins called her and said that Breasia was gone.
“At first I laughed because it sounded like a joke. It didn’t make any sense. It’s not like her,” Lankford told “Dateline.” “She would never walk out, especially in the middle of the night. In the dark? No. Never.”
According to a criminal complaint obtained by “Dateline,” a search warrant was executed at Dinkins’ home the day Breasia was reported missing and he was arrested and charged with a second-offense sex offender registration violation and a probation violation. He remains in jail.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued for Breasia five days after she vanished and it named Dinkins as her alleged abductor.
Davenport police have since classified him as a person of interest in the case but have not said he is a suspect.
Dinkins, age 47, has not been charged with a crime related to Breasia’s disappearance. It’s not clear if he has obtained an attorney.
Police Chief Paul Sikorski said Wednesday that authorities are seeking information about Dinkins’ vehicles and his whereabouts from 10 p.m. on July 9 to noon on July 10. It’s believed that Dinkins’ primary car is a maroon Chevy Impala, the chief said.
“This investigation is still full-force ahead, ongoing with great assets and resources here as we continue our search for Breasia,” he said.
Lankford told “Dateline” that she thinks her daughter is being held against her will and is holding out hope that she’ll be found safe.
“She’s out there somewhere and when she’s home safe, that’s when the story begins. That’s when she’ll tell us what happened,” Lankford said. “But we just have to find her. That’s what we’re focused on now.”
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