HAMMOND, Ind. — The FBI is doubling its reward to $20,000 in the case of a Hammond teen who was brutally murdered 18 years ago.
Alexandra Anaya was reported missing on Aug. 15, 2005, from her home in Hammond, Indiana.
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Three days later, boaters discovered her torso floating in the Little Calumet River. The rest of her body was never found.
On the day she disappeared, she was wearing a gold chain with a round, religious medallion. It was never found either.
Her family hopes the increased reward will help lead police to her killer.
Alex’s mother, Sandra Anaya, said she still holds on to hope that the person responsible for Alex’s death will be held accountable.
Meanwhile, she said family has helped her stay strong after all these years.
“She was loving and caring and beautiful inside and out,” Sandra said. “I miss her a lot. It’s hard to relive everyday thinking of her because it’s so painful. Her memory is happy but to me, it’s painful sometimes.”
Sandra said for her birthday, family members will go to the river where her body was found and take flowers.
“Sometimes we all go by ourselves when we need alone time with her,” Sandra said. “I do have her ashes at home but for some reason, I don’t know, just imagining her being in the river, by herself. It’s just somewhere I need to go.”
The FBI has now doubled the reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case to $20,000.
“When someone commits a crime, it’s very hard to keep it quiet and they generally will tell at least one person,” FBI Special Agent Siobhan Johnson said. “That person is out there somewhere. They already know they have what we need and we want them to tell us.”
Alex leaves behind two younger sisters and a now 13-year-old brother she never met.
The family hopes someone will come forward with information so the person or people responsible are held accountable.
“I want to know what she said,” Sandra said. “I want to know what happened. That’s the only way I will ever maybe have closure. It’s not fair. She’s gone and someone is walking around free.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online.
Tips can be submitted anonymously.
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