14-Year-Old Vanishes After Leaving For A Party More Than 20 Years Ago
On Sep. 14, 2001, Jesse Florez left for a party and never returned home. Since that day, Florez’s family, friends, and loved ones have never given up hope of finding Florez.
Authorities said on Sep. 14, 2001, Jesse Florez, 14, walked out of his home and was never seen again. It's a missing person mystery that has haunted Phoenix, Arizona for more than 20 years. According to his family, he left for a party but did not make it there. Florez was reportedly supposed to be home early since it was a school night. Since that day, Florez’s family, friends, and loved ones have never given up hope of finding Florez.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) created an image of what Florez may look like at the age of 33, hoping the image will jog someone’s memory.
On the 19th anniversary of Florez's disappearance, 12 News spoke to his sister Veronica Alvarado. She told the affiliate, “It is very raw, the feelings of him not being around. It's a struggle. "
Veronica added, “It's indescribable…the way we have to go through holidays without him.”
By all accounts, according to Veronica and her mother, Florez had intentions of returning, even telling his mother, "I love you mom, I'll see you in a little while." Now over two decades have passed, and there are no answers as to where Florez could be or what happened that evening when he left home around 6 p.m.
Jesse’s mom, Angie Alvarado, told NCMEC that by the next day, she went directly to the Phoenix Police Department to formally report her son missing and massive searches ignited all over the area.
Angie said this about her son: “He wanted to be a businessman and an architect. He’d ask me if that was possible, to have two jobs, and I said it was, that he could do anything he wanted to. He wanted to make enough money to buy a big house. We didn’t have much at the time, so that was his dream.”
Florez is a Hispanic male who stood 4 feet 11 inches tall when he disappeared. According to NCMEC, Florez's lower lobe of his left ear is pierced, along with the upper cartilage of his upper left ear. He was last seen wearing a flannel short sleeve shirt that was black and brown checkered, the report added. Florez is known best as "Lil' Droopy" and he has a black mole in the corner of his right eye.
In addition, Florez was born on Nov. 12, 1986. His mom purchased a birthday cake for years after he vanished, reports added. According to NCMEC, Angie would say on his special day, "‘Wherever you are, Jesse, if you’re out there, I hope that you’re safe, that you’re in God’s hands, and you’re happy. That’s my wish for you.’ And I would blow out the candles.”
Veronica concluded, "We hope that wherever you lie your head, that you are being safe. One day our prayers will be answered, whether it be here on earth or in heaven, we definitely will get closure at some point in our lives."
Please contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children directly with any information about this case: 1-800-THE-LOST.
You can also contact the Phoenix Police Department with any tips or information as well: 602-262-6151.