"We're just hoping and praying that somebody can speak up for us."
Franchesca "Cheka" Alvarado has been missing for 11 months, and her family and friends have been searching for her ever since she disappeared. On Sunday, Franchesca's birthday, her family and friends spent the day in Atlantic City raising awareness about her disappearance.
Franchesca's sister, Frances Casting, said, "We've been waiting for 11 months for someone to speak up, for my niece who desperately needs her mother, and we're just dying for someone to speak up. We hope and pray that somehow she feels us out here today on her birthday."
Yari Acevedo said, "I'm not giving up. I don't have no worries because we here, and we strong, and we just trying to get some closure out of this."
Franchesca's family passed out flyers with information about when and where she was last seen hoping Atlantic City residents may remember something from the night she went missing.
Family members say they are suspicious of the man Cheka went out with the night of her disappearance. "Not once has he cooperated with the family. We asked him to take a polygraph test, he refused. He's not cooperating with us at all. We just want some answers," said Casting.
Because Franchesca was last seen here at Resorts casino in Atlantic City, her family and friends lit Chinese lanterns on the beach Sunday night - hoping residents would see them and ask questions about them. Their plan worked.
Donte Brown saw the lanterns and asked, "What was going on? Who was putting up the lanterns and why were they putting up the lanterns? And when I found out, it's a great cause for the safe return of their loved one."
Casting said, "We hope she can just feel our love because we desperately miss her. We really, really need someone to speak up and to tell us what happened to Franchesca 11 months ago."
Anyone with information regarding Franchesca's disappearance is asked to call the Philadelphia East Detectives 215-686-3243 or the family at 267-241-9592 with your anonymity protected.
The family has raised $25,000 as reward money for information leading to Franchesca's whereabouts.