DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday, May 25 was National Missing Children’s Day, and, as part of it, new billboards popped around the Metroplex.
They feature Dallas teen Maria Elzalde, who went missing in 2015. The hope is to bring her – and others – home.READ MORE: Dallas Police Officer Arrested For Domestic Assault
It was the night before Thanksgiving when 15-year-old Maria Elizalde disappeared from her front yard.
“For her to be missing this long, it’s just not real,” said Kathleen Rodriguez, Maria’s mother.
“She left home. A couple possible sightings, none were ever confirmed, and she hasn’t been seen since,” said Detective Ryan Dalby with the Dallas Police Department.
Police believe she could still be in the Dallas, Cedar Hill, or Balch Springs area.
Now they and Maria’s family have a new tool to aid in the search.READ MORE: Much Happening In DFW For Juneteenth Including Walk With Opal Lee
Maria’s picture is being featured on digital billboards throughout the Metroplex and will garner more than a million impressions over the next month.
With an age progression photo of what Maria could look like today, her case is on 15 billboards and will be broadcast more than 1,200 times a day on each.
It’s an effort by the Texas Center for the Missing and Clear Channel Outdoor to highlight the 37,023 missing children in Texas – and to find them.
“It’s putting her back out there basically,” said Rodriguez. “Giving me more hope to hang on to, keep fighting, keep going every day.”
This is the 6th year of the program, and it’s credited with helping bring home two missing teens so far. Kathleen Rodriguez desperately hopes her little girl will be next.
“I know she’s out there,” she said. “Put yourself there as a mother, the pain that I go through every day. I think about her all the time. I miss her, and I love her.”MORE NEWS: Drowning In Grapevine Lake Prompts Warning From First Responders
Anyone with information about Maria Elizalde’s whereabouts should call Dallas Police at 214-744-4444.