Family and investigators are continuing to search for two missing Chicago women who were pregnant when they vanished as their due dates pass. Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, who was due to give birth Sunday, went missing April 23 from her Chicago high school. It was the same day that 27-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee Kierra Coles, who, was due to give birth.
Families of both of the women spoke to the media Sunday, reports CBS Chicago, hoping to keep the cases in the public eye.
The family of Ochoa-Uriostegui said she was last seen April 23 leaving Latino Youth High School, where she attended classes. She was expected to pick up her 3-year-old son at a nearby day care, but never showed up.
Ochoa-Uriostegui's husband, Yovani Lopez, said Sunday he last saw his wife when he left home for work the morning of April 23. Speaking in Spanish and holding the couple's young son, Lopez said three women at the school told him she didn't look well, but didn't provide more details.
Ochoa-Uriostegui's mother said her daughter seemed normal before her disappearance and was already starting to have mild contractions. Speaking in Spanish, she said she doubted her daughter would have left her young son, and said she feared she may have been abducted.
"This is going on too long," said Julia Rooney, a social worker at Ochua's high school. "She is 19. She is a mother. She is due any day — she may have already had the baby. There's so many unanswered questions."
Rooney urged police to conduct a thorough investigation and asked anyone with information to come forward. Chicago police issued an alert April 26 for Ochoa-Uriostegui, classifying her as a high-risk missing person. Chicago officer Jennifer Bryk said Area South detectives are investigating. Asked whether the disappearance could be considered suspicious, Bryk said detectives are "looking into all avenues" and "not ruling anything out."
Also on Sunday, the family of Kierra Coles spoke publicly, begging for the long-missing woman's safe return. Coles, who was last seen Oct. 2, was three months pregnant at the time, reports the Chicago Tribune. Surveillance video showed Coles walking past her car in her U.S. Postal Service uniform, even though she had called in sick that day, WLS-TV reported at the time.
Her mother, Karen Phillips, reported Coles missing when she hadn't heard from her two days later, and a well-being check at her home turned up nothing, the Tribune reports.
"I talk to her every day," Phillips told the Tribune at the time. "I knew something was wrong. It's just not like her."
Chicago police are investigating and said at the time that theyin the disappearance. Monday, they said the investigation remains active but had no updates in the case.
"I just don't want my sister gone forever. I hope that somebody out there that do know what's going on can help us give her a safe return," her sister, Kieana Donald, said Sunday, reports CBS Chicago.
Coles' family announced Sunday the reward for information leading to her whereabouts was increased to $46,500, the station reports. The rewards includes $25,000 from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the investigations branch of the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Tribune. Coles had been working as a letter carrier for three years when she went missing.
Relatives of another missing Chicago woman, Chaunti Bryla, are also asking the community for any information about the disappearance, reports CBS Chicago. Bryla has an 11-year-old son. Her family says they reported her missing March 18 and are working with police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Chicago police special victims unit at 312-747-8274.
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