A crowd gathered at the cannon monument on Brookline Boulevard on Sunday night to remember a young woman who has been missing for one year.
Family and friends of 20-year-old Alivia Kail, who has been missing since March 5, 2011, held a vigil to remember her and spread the word that they haven’t given up the hope of bringing her home.
“My hope for this vigil is that someone will just see this and be able to help, and know she’s out there,” said Kail’s mother, Christine Didiano. “At this point, we just hope someone will come forward.”
Kail was living in Mt. Washington last year when she told her family she planned to move to Florida with her boyfriend. Kail, then 19, picked up clothes from her brother’s West Mifflin home on March 5, and hasn’t had contact with family or friends since.
Reports of missing and endangered children seem to be a new epidemic, said Didiano, who grew up in Brookline. She recalled that it has only been a few months since a vigil was held at the same spot for another Brookline native——whose ex-boyfriend has been charged in connection with her January death.
Didiano and other family members said Kail isn’t the type of person to go for long without contacting her friends. She said she’s been blessed in the past year to have the support of her family and those close to them.
Kail’s oldest cousin, Jedi Tomich, 38, also attended Sunday’s vigil. Tomich, formerly of Brookline, said the past year has been full of ups and downs, and that she hopes her cousin will soon return home safely.
“She’s the baby and I’m the oldest. All I want is for her to come back safe to us,” Tomich said. “I keep wishing she’d all of a sudden come back, or show up right here. Just show up. Our family has always been strong, but this has made us closer and even stronger.”
Didiano and Tomich both said that although the past year has been a struggle, they still have faith, and that a strong faith in their religion has helped them cope with missing one of their favorite people.
“If I had to sum up everything about Alivia, she had such a heart for such a young spirit,” her mother said. “She had a big heart and always made people laugh. Wherever she’s at, I would tell her I’ll always be with her.”
Those with information about Alivia Kail should contact local law enforcement. The phone number for the Pittsburgh Police missing persons unit is 412-323-7141. The number for is 412-561-8900.