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Mom searches for daughter missing for 35 years

MISSOURI MISSING

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB/CNN)

A 14-year-old girl disappeared 35 years ago in Kansas City and her mother is still searching for her and vows to never give up.

In 1985 Jody Ledkins was walking on this street, Cambridge, in the northeast, since then, her mother has been tracing her steps hoping that someone has the key to her daughter.

The house was basically here.

Karen Stratton lived with her daughter Jody Ledkins in the East Bottoms area back in 1985.

The neighborhood has since changed. Time has moved on, but Stratton can't.

Karen Stratton says, "When you have problems and you get upset, you lose focus. I said, I can't lose my focus in finding my daughter."

Jody was 14 years old when she went missing. The last time Stratton talked to her daughter was on Thursday, May 23, 1985 and that was when Jody called her asking for a ride home.

"The car was not available to me and I couldn't get her and she overheard all that. She said that's okay mom. She says, I have some friends who can bring me home."

Jody was at her boyfriend's house at 7th & Cambridge. Stratton took us to the place where that home used to be.

After that, Jody walked back to a friend's house at 14th & Winchester. This is video of that friend, Melissa Folscroft when 41 action news interviewed her back in 2012.

Stratton says, "She said she was finding a ride, but she never showed up."

Stratton reported it to Jody's deputy juvenile officer. She'd gotten in trouble for skipping school. The weekend passed and still no sign of Jody. It wasn't until two years later that Stratton realized the DJO never reported it to the police. An investigation was launched but no one has come forward.

Stratton says, "There's no reason for her stay hidden all this time if she's alive. In my heart, she's alive."

Stratton continues to retrace Jody's steps. Drive the old neighborhoods and comb through all the notes she's taken over the years. And it still doesn't make sense to her.

Stratton says, "They should tell me the truth. I call it deadly secrets. When part of your heart is dead, it's never going to rejuvenate. For them not to tell the truth and keep that secret to themselves, all they did is killed a part of my heart.

This is an age-progressed photo of Jody several years back. Today she would be 50 years old.

CNN

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