A bright young 7-year-old goes missing. Could the driver behind a red pick-up truck seen outside her school hold the answers to what happened to Alexis?
Alexis Patterson was a bubbly 7-year-old first-grader who loved the color pink and roller skating. Her photos from over the years showcase her toothy grin and spunky spirit. Alexis had perfect attendance at Hi-Mount Boulevard School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she loved to showcase her pink Barbie backpack. Over the years, Alexis picked up a few nicknames, where her friends and family affectionately called her “Lexi” or “Pie.”
The date Alexis went missing
Earlier in the morning of May 3, 2002, Alexis and her mother, Ayanna, got into an argument because Alexis didn’t finish her homework on time, so her mother didn’t let her take cupcakes as a snack that day. Alexis was then last seen at 8:20 am on May 3, 2002, when her stepfather, LeRon, was walking her to school. Once they arrived at school, Alexis crossed the crosswalk, and LeRon watched her go towards the playground. Feeling like she was sufficiently safe, LeRon left the school property and walked back home.
By 4:00 pm that afternoon, Alexis didn’t return home from school, which was unusual. Her parents waited an hour before calling the police. By 6 pm, the search for Alexis was underway.
According to the Charley Project, Alexis was last seen wearing a light blue blouse or a blue shirt with horizontal stripes. She was also wearing a hooded red nylon pullover jacket with a gray stripe down each arm. For pants, Alexis was wearing light blue-colored jeans, along with blue and white Nike high top sneakers. and wore sunflower-shaped earrings with gold posts as. She carried a pink Barbie backpack.
As the case has unfolded, conflicting opinions about what happened on the morning of May 3rd have developed
Investigators believe that Alexis did not intentionally go to school as a result of the disagreement between Alexis and her mother. Similarly, school officials believe Alexis never went to class that day, although she was spotted looking visibly upset in the playground before and after school. LeRon and Ayanna were also not notified that Alexis wasn’t in class until after dismissal, so they had no reason to believe Alexis was not in class.
While many debate what happened that May morning, foul play has always been suspected in Alexis’s case.
Some of Alexis's classmates told police that they saw a suspicious red truck parked near the school for most of the week before her disappearance. Strangely, the truck never dropped anyone off or picked anyone up. What’s interesting, investigators note, the truck and the driver suddenly stopped showing up at the school after Alexis vanished. The driver and the vehicle itself have not been identified — and it is unknown if it is connected to her case.
Alexis's biological father, Kenya Campbell, was in prison at the time of her disappearance and was released shortly after Alexis went missing. He cooperated with the police and was not thought to be involved in Alexis’s disappearance in any way. LaRon and Ayanna were also questioned, and they fully cooperated with investigators. La Ron failed a polygraph and was charged in an unrelated crime. He has a criminal history as well, but investigators do not believe he had anything to do with this case.
Alexis’s disappearance remains unsolved.