Brenda Gonzalez Jackson, a 31-year-old mother of six and Iraq war veteran, went missing more than a week ago after she was dropped off at her suburban Park Forest home.
Family members said the disappearance is out of character for the young mom, noting she would never leave her children behind.
“Anybody who knows her has even mentioned this is out of character for her,” said Jackson’s mother, Maria Gonzalez. “This isn’t what she would do unless she was harmed or was forced to do it.”
Jackson was last seen Jan. 3 after a relative dropped her off at her home in the 200 block of Arcadia Street. She was reported missing two days later.
Police have said they are concerned about Jackson and have been following up on potential sightings and leads.
“We have a report of a possible sighting in Chicago,” said Dep. Chief Christopher Mannino with the Park Forest Police Department. “We are following up now with the Chicago Police Department about that.”
More than 100 people on Sunday searched a pond and wooded areas in the Sauk Trail woods just one block from Jackson’s home.
“Once we put out word that we were looking for her friends and family have come to our door and said ‘Let’s do a search’ because it’s not like her,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said she has yet to tell her six grandchildren their mother is missing, but she said she will always remember the call one child made to Jackson the night she disappeared.
“She said, ‘Mommy, I forgot to tell you I love you. I love you mommy,’” Gonzalez said.
Jackson is described as approximately 5-foot tall, weighing 125 pounds, according to investigators. She has star tattoos on both sides of her neck, as well as a heart tattoo on her ring finger and a tattoo that reads “Michael” on her left inner wrist. Jackson also has a scar on her upper chest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.