MESA, AZ — On January 2, 1999, 11-year-old girl Mikelle Biggs stepped outside her family’s Mesa home to await the local ice cream truck. She has not been seen since.
In the years since Mikelle vanished, police have tracked down numerous leads only to be continually frustrated.Now, suddenly, a fresh clue may have cropped up by way of a dollar bill used to purchase Girl Scout cookies in Neenah, Wisconsin, a town about nine miles outside of Appleton. Hand-scrawled in ink along the edge of the bill is a message:
“My name is Mikel Biggs kidnapped from Mesa AZ I’m alive.”
Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson said a man walked in, turned over the bill, and said it had been in a collection taken for Girl Scout cookies.
Wilkinson wasn’t familiar with the Mikelle Biggs case offhand. Upon looking up the facts, the chief reached out to the Mesa Police Department immediately. He has since sent them the physical bill and said:
“The oddity in the note is that her first name is spelled wrong. That certainly seems odd and it would sway you to believe that it might not be legitimate. But why would you pick that one, a case that’s nearly 20 years old? It’s somebody who knew something about that case.”
Kimber Biggs was nine when her sister Mikelle disappeared. She said the message on the bill gave her a “glimmer of hope,” followed by a crushing sense that nothing will come of it.
First and foremost, Kimber pointed out, the name is spelled wrong. She also told the press:
“I was looking at the bill, trying to look at the handwriting and see if it could mean something, and I got sick about it. ‘Is this a hoax?’ ‘Did someone play a cruel joke?’ And that made me upset, or ‘Is it real?’ and even the thought of that upsets me if it’s real.”
No matter what, Mesa Detective Steve Berry says, his office will follow this lead until there is nothing left to follow.
Berry pointed out that Mikelle’s disappearance remains an open and active investigation, and added: “You never know where a lead or a tip is going to come from that can break a case.”
If you are in search of a missing person, make sure to enter their information into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
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Main photos: Possible lead dollar bill [Mesa Police Department]; Mikelle Biggs and [National Registry of Missing Persons]