Hilary Sessions quietly placed a yellow rose by the picture of her daughter, Tiffany, who disappeared more than 25 years ago. Her tribute was echoed by other family members who honored the memory of their missing or murdered child during an emotional ceremony held Monday for Florida Missing Children's Day.
In 2013, 35,124 missing children were reported missing, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But Florida Missing Children's Day focused more on paying tribute to those children and honoring heroes than statistics.
"You take it one day at a time," said Sessions, a Tampa resident and director of the board of the Florida Missing Children's Day Foundation. Her daughter, a University of Florida student, vanished Feb. 9, 1989 while taking a walk near her Gainesville apartment.
Sessions spent much of the rally hugging and comforting parents struggling with their own tragedies. "You can feel the relief of these parents when they talk to someone who's been through this."
Also lending support was Roy Brown, whose 7-year-old daughter Amanda was abducted on Sept. 11, 1998.
Amanda was last seen in her mother's mobile home in Seffner -- Willie Crain Jr., a 52-year-old crabber and convicted child molester who was also in the home the night Amanda disappeared, was charged with kidnapping and murdering Amanda, but he is still on Florida's death row.
Brown said his daughter was never found -- he hates it when people use the term body or remains. "This is my daughter we're talking about," he said.