For Georgia family, child abduction still an open case

8:54 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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PERRY, Ga. -- The recent news involving a decade-old abduction case in Cleveland brought back old feelings for a Georgia woman whose 8-year-old daughter went missing 15 years ago.

"I just keep talking about it every day," said Veronica Pate of Perry, Ga.

Pate did not believe the news when she learned her daughter Shy'Kemmia had gone missing. Shy'Kemmia was last seen at the intersection near her family's Unadilla home. Authorities believe she was abducted.

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"As the case first happened, obviously there were a bunch of leads that we initially looked at," said GBI investigator Ben Collins. "As time goes on, it seems like the number of leads just dwindles down."

In the initial years after Shy'Kemmia went missing, Pate struggled through massive depression. As she recalls, "I started wearing down, started getting heavier, and the pain started getting worse and worse.

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"Then I started wanting to give up on my life."

Pate finally went to counseling in 2001. But as her life has gone on, she says she will never fully move on. She still describes Shy'Kemmia in the present tense and still displays all of Shy'Kemmia's portraits on her wall.

"I have six grandkids that always talk about her and don't know nothing about her," said Pate. "They have just seen her pictures."

Stories like Tuesday's from Cleveland provide Pate with that one-in-a-million hope that she too may see her daughter again.

She says she needs that hope to help battle the otherwise open-ended pain.

Says Pate, "When a child goes missing, and you don't have no idea, no clue, no trace, no leads, there's never a closure."

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