Alexis Patterson has been missing longer than she had been alive at the time of her disappearance.
Alexis, a 7 year-old girl with braids in her hair and carrying a pink Barbie backpack, was reported missing at 3 p.m. on May 3, 2002. And that is all anyone seems to know for sure. Milwaukee Police were on the scene within 30 minutes and eventually a large-scale search would be underway, first in Milwaukee and eventually, one that would take investigators around the country. The video slide show below shows views of Alexis’ home and her route to Hi Mount School at 49th & Garfield, as well as age-progression photos of her.
In the days following her missing report, Milwaukee Police dedicated resources 24 hours a day to finding Alexis. Ten years later, investigators from MPD’s Cold Case Unit continue the search. Investigators have done about 5,000 interviews of people associated with the case and their names have been indexed in a case file that contains more than 10,000 pages. Detectives have reviewed thousands of criminal offense reports, conducted geographic grid searches, reviewed Department of Corrections databases for probation and parole offenders, and executed search warrants. MPD has worked closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
The Cold Case Unit got the case in 2009 and since that time, Cold Case investigators have interviewed and re-interviewed about 65 people, traveled out of town 13 times and have designed a playing card featuring Alexis that is part of a Cold Case playing card set used in the prison system to help develop leads among inmates who may have information.
Click on the following video to hear Cold Case Lt. Keith Balash provide an update to the community on the investigation:
Since its founding in 2008, the Milwaukee Police Department’s Cold Case Unit has cleared 17 homicides and has done 177 complete reviews of unsolved homicides. In the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, there were 499 unsolved homicides in Milwaukee. Those cases are anything but “cold.” Dedicated investigators, led by Lt. Keith Balash, work tirelessly to bring justice to families who pray no one gives up on their loved one. The Milwaukee Police Department never does.
Anyone with information on Alexis’ disappearance is asked to call the Cold Case hotline at 414-935-1212.