PHOENIX — It's been nearly two decades since a Valley teen disappeared while walking to a party in a Phoenix neighborhood. He vanished without a trace.
“It is very raw, the feelings of him not being around," Veronica Alvarado, the sister of Jesse Florez, said.
She spoke with 12 News, heartbroken about the disappearance of her 14-year-old brother.
"It's a struggle,” she said. “It's indescribable…the way we have to go through holidays without him."
Alvarado wants to know what happened to her little brother, who went missing after leaving for a party on the evening of Sept. 14, 2001.
"He turned around and said, 'I love you mom, I'll see you in a little while,'" said Alvarado.
But Florez never made it home. A search has been underway ever since.
An age progression image shows what he could look like today, at 33 years old.
"I know he would be a successful young man... in everything he did, he was a leader, he was independent, he was so charismatic, and we miss him dearly," she said.
Alvarado hopes, by sharing the pain her family is still going through, new leads will come in and that there will be a renewed effort to track him down.
"We hope that wherever you lie your head, that you are being safe," she said. “One day our prayers will be answered, whether it be here on earth or in heaven, we definitely will get closure at some point in our lives."
If you have any information about Jesse's disappearance, call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151 or The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.