(WMC) - Eighteen years ago a 14-year-old girl simply vanished from her bedroom. Her name was Cayce McDaniel, and recent missing persons cases are bringing new hope for those still looking for her.
A little white house in Milan, Tenn., represents a horror that still haunts Jennifer Weaver.
"It's like I'm being transported back to I'm 12 years old again," she said
Her friend Cayce disappeared from the house nearly two decades ago.
"Its really like she just vanished into thin air," Weaver said
The 14-year-old had been to a back-to-school social at church on August 16, 1996. After the party, a chaperone drove Cayce home to an empty house.
"She waved before she went in the door and the chaperone assumed, OK everything's fine, and that's the last time anybody ever saw her," Weaver aid.
It wasn't until the next day Cayce's mother realized she hadn't spent the night with friends. To this day no one knows what happened to her.
"Every year that goes by, you know, it doesn't get easier, it's more frustrating really," Weaver said.
Milan police say Cayce's case remains open.
Despite no new leads, loved ones continue to hold out hope, including Cayce's closest friend Amber Hansen, who spoke with the Milan Mirror-Exchange.
"These stories come out of these kids that have been missing and all of a sudden they're found 20 years later and held captive and what not," she said. "That kind of lights the fire that it is still a possibility."
The discovery of three women in Cleveland, Ohio who broke free after being imprisoned for a decade illustrates such a possibility.
"Everybody was sure that these women were dead and, oh my goodness, they came home," Weaver said.
They're encouraged by the arrests in the case of missing Tenn. nursing student Holly Bobo three years after she disappeared.
"It gives us hope, and that's why we keep doing what we do every year," Weaver said.
Cayce's 32nd birthday was July 14.
Friend's wonder if better computer technology in 1996 could have helped. Back then when someone went missing, you couldn't get on Facebook or Twitter to instantly get the word out.
The only tracking device available then was a canine officer.
"They tracked her scent from the house to a gas station to a pay phone and then it quit," Weaver said.
Weaver believes someone out there has information about her childhood friend.
"We all try to keep her memory alive as much as we can because she deserves that," Weaver said. "Her case is only going to die if we as her family and her friends that love her allow it to die. And we don't want that to happen."
If you have any information that might help with this case call Milan Police at 731-686-3300 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
To see pictures of other missing children in Mid-South, click here.