The mother of a missing 10-year-old Iowa girl believes her daughter is being held against her will — and suspects her half-brother’s father holds clues to where that may be, according to a report.
Aishia Lankford told NBC’s “Dateline” Tuesday she’s not giving up hope that her daughter, Breasia Terrell, who was last seen on July 10 while staying at the Davenport apartment of her half-brother’s father, Henry Dinkins, will be found alive.
“She’s out there somewhere and when she’s home safe, that’s when the story begins,” Lankford told “Dateline.” “But we just have to find her. That’s what we’re focused on now.”
Lankford said Breasia spent the night of July 9 at Dinkins’ apartment with him and her son, Breasia’s 8-year-old half-brother, as well as Dinkins’ girlfriend. The girl, also known as “Bree,” texted Lankford before bed to let her know she was OK, the distraught mom said.
“And that’s the last time I heard from her,” Lankford said.
Dinkins, who has since been labeled a person of interest in the case, was convicted of a sex crime in 1990 when he was 17.
After a search warrant was executed at his home on the day Breasia was reported missing, Dinkins was charged with a second-offense sex offender registration violation and a probation violation, a criminal complaint shows.
Lankford said she spoke to Dinkins last week while he was in custody at Scott County Jail, where he remains in custody, NBC Dateline reports.
“He broke down after only a few minutes,” Lankford said. “I’ve known him for 11 years and I’ve never seen him show that kind of emotion. I know he knows something.”
Lankford said she told Dinkins he wouldn’t “have a good night’s sleep” in jail until her daughter is back home.
Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski on Monday called off organized searches for Breasia, saying the department’s resources would instead be focused on “pursuing leads” that have been developed in her disappearance.
“We all want to find her alive,” Sikorski said. “That is what our intent is as we continue with the investigation.”
FBI officials are also assisting in the search for Breasia, Sikorski said.
Anyone with information about Dinkins’ whereabouts between late July 9 and July 10 is asked to contact Davenport police at (536) 326-6125.
With Post wires
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