Yvette Gervais cried the night Zina Linnik's body was found. Like many others, she had been closely following the search for the 12-year-old...
Yvette Gervais cried the night Zina Linnik’s body was found.
Like many others, she had been closely following the search for the 12-year-old Tacoma girl who disappeared from outside her home July 4.
Unlike most, she knew exactly what the girl’s family was going through.
Gervais’ 10-year-old daughter, Adre’Anna Jackson, was found dead last year in a suburb of Tacoma, four months after she was reported missing.
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“It’s been really tough on us,” said Gervais, of Tillicum, Pierce County. “It brought up the horrific-ness of the crime we went through.”
Adre’Anna was reported missing from the family’s neighborhood in December 2005 after she disappeared somewhere between home and her elementary school a few blocks away.
Her skeletal remains were found in a vacant lot near Woodbrook Middle School a few miles from home, but a cause of death could not be determined and no suspect was arrested.
Adre’Anna’s disappearance and death, as well as those of several other missing children, is now being re-investigated by detectives who are pursuing the Linnik case.
Gervais said in a telephone interview Friday that a part of her hopes the suspect in the Linnik case, Terapon Dang Adhahn, can be linked to her daughter’s death.
“If he did it, it would be nice to get some closure,” she said. “But all we can do is wait and not get our hopes up too high because, you know, you have more than one offender in this country.”
The mother of another missing Tacoma child, Teekah Lewis, was at the Linnik home Friday to support the dead child’s family.
Teekah was 2 when she disappeared from Frontier Bowling Lanes in Tacoma about 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1999. The girl’s mother, Theresa Lewis, told police she saw her daughter standing near the lanes’ video games. When she looked back, Teekah was gone.
Despite a massive media campaign, a 24-hour tip line and extensive interviews with people who were at the lanes that night, no suspect has emerged.
In 2001, Theresa Lewis was asked to provide a DNA sample to match against the body of an unidentified dead child found in Kansas City, Mo. The child was not Teekah.
In April 2006, Lewis was notified by a private investigator that he had found a girl he believed to be Teekah living with a woman in Dallas. The investigator, who was hired by the Lewis family more than a year earlier, sent her photos of the girl, she said.
But DNA testing proved the girl was not Teekah.
For a woman who has never stopped hoping, and who replays her last morning with her daughter in her head constantly, the announcement Friday was sobering.
There had been other false alarms, but this time Lewis braced herself for the worst.
“It’s never been this close. And now it’s here,” she said.
Thinking about her next step — how she’ll prepare mentally for the possibility that her daughter is dead, how she’ll tell Teekah’s siblings — Lewis started weeping.
“I don’t know, I don’t even know,” she said, speaking from her mother’s home, where a banner hanging outside said “MISSING” and a sign on a van issued this appeal: “Have you seen Teekah?”
Lewis doesn’t want to imagine that this might be the end she most dreaded, but added that the anguish is mixed with some relief.
“It would be a lot easier if I had closure,” she said.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org