Some 100 people gathered last Thursday night to mark a somber date: the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff.
Walkers followed the two-mile route Ilene took on Jan. 30, 1989, the day she was kidnapped in Dublin. They traced the young teen's walk from Wells Middle School to where she was last seen, near the intersection of San Ramon Road and Amador Valley Boulevard, then continued for a prayer service at St. Raymond Catholic Church.
Ilene would turn 39 in March, her father Mike Misheloff said, adding thanks to those who still walk in her name.
The girl vanished after she was excused early from a physical education class at her school on that ill-fated day 25 years ago. She was last seen with a pullover polo sweater, a striped shirt, black Keds sneakers and a dark blue backpack.
Misheloff said the annual event marking her disappearance serves as a way to "make sure everyone knows we are still looking for Ilene."
The tradition of holding a vigil and service is hard on Misheloff and his family.
"It's a difficult day for us. It would be even if we didn't do anything," he said.
He said the family appreciates the ongoing support of the community and involvement in the walk and vigil every January, but said "hopefully this will be the last year this has to happen."
Dublin police are still actively looking into the case and each year receive tips about possible whereabouts of Ilene, Misheloff said.
There is a $95,000 reward available; more information about the case can be found online.