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Thirteen years later, police still searching for missing man
BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thirteen years after he was last seen, police in Benton Harbor say they will not give up the search for Steven Kraft.
Kraft was last seen on February 15th, 2001 as he was walking his family's two dogs. He was just 12-years-old.
In a news conference Thursday police talked about where the case stands now.
Also Kraft's sister Jodi Bopp spoke, she said every year on his birthday family members still make him a cake and watch his favorite movie together.
"Unfortunately its us making the wish for him and we make the same wish every year, that he'll return home safely and the following year it will be him blowing out his own candles," says Bopp.
She says she still thinks about Steven only as a boy and it's hard to see the new picture of him police revealed Thursday as a 25-year-old.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to look at the age progressed photos and relate to them because I'm just stuck on a 12-year-old boy," says Bopp.
Benton Township Police Chief Vincent Fetke asked people to think back to that day 13 years ago.
"If you're from this community, did you see anything out of the ordinary, did you see anyone out of the ordinary? On that night did you see a little 12-year-old boy, walking his dogs?" says Fetke.
Police have investigated hundreds of leads including reported sightings at a Chicago airport and across the country.
"Certainly myself, any of the other investigators, the officers, we certainly would like to find closure to the case before our departure from the department and for the family's sake," says Fetke.
And on the anniversary, his family says it's still as difficult a day for them as it was 13 years ago.
"The cycle just repeats itself, the emotions just repeat themselves, it's never ending," says Bopp.
It was also announced there are new billboards going up across Michigan and also in Indiana showing the new picture of Steven as a 25-year-old.