Family searches for missing 22-year-old

PHILADELPHIA - September 15, 2012

"This is not like her at all," said Frances Casteing. "As soon as we hadn't heard from her in a couple of days, we knew there was a problem."

The family of 22-year-old Franchesca Alvarado, or "Cheka" as she is called, has not seen her since St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. It was a Saturday.

She went to Atlantic City with a friend and was to return the following day.

Her family says her male friend returned, but she did not.

They say she did not run away, because she loves her 3-year-old daughter, Janiah, and would never leave her.

Her sister says Francesca had big plans.

"She also this year was going to start community college. She took the placement test in February, and she was just waiting to enroll in her classes," said Frances.

The Citizens Crime Commission is offering a $1,000 reward for information that would lead to Franchesca's whereabouts.

Anyone with information can make an anonymous call to 215-546-TIPS.

The family really misses her.

"That's my best friend," said Frances. "I miss talking to her; there is so much that I have to tell her now. I just miss her."

Family and friends have been hitting the streets handing out flyers. They have held vigils and fundraisers, and even released balloons as a sign of hope.

Franchesca's sister is making an urgent appeal.

"If anyone knows where she's at, please, you have to tell us because she needs our help. She's not somewhere doing her thing; she needs our help," she said. "Whoever does know or may be in the circle of knowledge, someone does know."

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