Cold Case: Family Holding Onto Hope For Aiken Girl Missing 24 Y - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Cold Case: Family Holding Onto Hope For Aiken Girl Missing 24 Years

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Aiken, SC -

Catherine Cheatham has a pocketbook full of pictures that would make any grandmother proud. 39 grandchildren - one of those grandchildren, Tilwanda, may or may not look like the picture; it's an age-progression.

"I get to thinking what do she, do she really look like, and what would she look like if she came home," Cheatham says.

She asks those questions because the last time she saw Tilwanda - she last saw Tilwanda when she was eight.  Sunday is a painful anniversary; the 24 anniversary of her granddaughter's disappearance.

"This is one of the last places that Tilwanda Cheatham was located," Sgt. Jason Feemster of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office says, "this would have been the Kwikstop in 1989."

Reports say Tilwanda borrowed a quarter and made a call at a phone booth, then disappeared. 

"[Officers] went throughout the neighborhood, interviewed people, had the SLED helicopter out," Feemster says.

But they did not find the eight year old pigtailed little girl who made fast friends everywhere she went.

"She was so friendly," Cheatham says, "she would make friends with you, she loved to talk with everybody. If she didn't know you, she'd walk up to you.  She really done that, made herself friends, maybe too many.

24 years later her family and investigators are still looking.

"When you're looking and thinking you're going to see her again and you wake up and go to the door, it's kind of hard to look out the door and you don't see her," Cheatham says.

Investigators still working the case have recently used techniques like DNA profiling to continue the search, but they believe someone back in 1989 saw something.

"Somebody out there has some kind of information out there and we need them to call us," Feemster says.

They need you to call, and so does this woman - who's been missing her little girl for 24 years.

"I want to tell them, will they please let her come home," Cheatham says.  "I want to see her.  If I hear her voice again, that would be so beautiful.  If I could only hear her voice, but I don't hear it, and it's like a puzzle missing."

Jeremy Grice is another Aiken child who has been missing for decades.  You can find his story here.

If you have any information on either case, please call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

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