Family, friends hold out hope during birthday party for missing postal worker: ‘We have not forgotten’

Adella Miesner

Nearly two years after pregnant postal worker Kierra Coles vanished from the Chatham neighborhood, her family and friends threw a party Thursday celebrating her 28th birthday as they continued to call for the public’s help and raise concerns about the official investigation. “I need to know where my baby is,” […]

Nearly two years after pregnant postal worker Kierra Coles vanished from the Chatham neighborhood, her family and friends threw a party Thursday celebrating her 28th birthday as they continued to call for the public’s help and raise concerns about the official investigation.

“I need to know where my baby is,” her father, Joseph Coles, told reporters.

Kierra Coles was reported missing Oct. 2, 2018. The U.S. Postal Service employee, then 26 and three months pregnant, was last seen near 81st Street and Vernon Avenue, her family has said.

On Thursday, the group hosting the party sang multiple renditions of “Happy Birthday” while celebrating at a restaurant in Pilsen. But later, as children played with balloons and ran around freely, the attendees hosted a somber news conference underscoring the painful search for their missing loved one.

“I’m knocking on doors. I’m kicking in doors. I’m climbing in abandoned buildings. I’m digging in garbage cans,” said Joseph Coles, who noted that he recently lost his mother and also learned that another family member has gone missing.

Joseph Coles father of Kierra Coles speaks to reporters during a birthday party and press conference for Kierra, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. Kierra Coles was last seen in 2018.| Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Joseph Coles, father of Kierra Coles, speaks during a birthday party for Kierra, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. Kierra Coles was last seen in 2018.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Mack Julien, president of the Chicago branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, added that a $45,000 reward is still being offered for information related to the case.

“We have not forgotten. We have not given up on our sister,” Julien said before the group cut into a birthday cake.

Meanwhile, a Chicago police spokesperson said Coles’ case “remains a high-risk missing person investigation with potential foul play suspected.” Police are conducting the investigation with the help of the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

“At this point, anybody with knowledge of her last whereabouts is asked to contact the Chicago Police Department as we are seeking any and all information in an attempt to locate her and we won’t stop until we do,” the police spokesperson said.

But in July, Joseph Coles told reporters that he felt investigators no longer cared about his daughter’s whereabouts. And Thursday, he complained that detectives failed to provide any update on the case when he showed up earlier at the Calumet District police station.

“It’s the same results.”

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