BENTON TOWNSHIP – A family came together Wednesday night to pray for their son and brother, Steven Kraft.
11 years ago on February 15, 2001, Kraft vanished from a Benton Township neighborhood. He was only 12 years old. He would now be 23.
The family hasn't lost hope – In fact now, more than ever, they're all speaking out, hoping someone, anyone, will come forward with the truth.
"It’s hard, it really is," said Edward Kraft.
Edward was 6 when his big brother vanished.
"We had a great childhood, just got cut a little short," he said.
Now, 11 years later, Edward finally has the strength to speak out.
"Please come forward, we really need closure,” he said. “I miss him. I wish he could come home."
Steven’s home used to be on the corner of Holly Street in Benton Township. It has been demolished in the past few years.
On the day he went missing, family members said he was playing somewhere outside with his two dogs. When he didn’t come home by curfew, the family knew something was wrong.
"There’s not a single day that goes by that it’s not in your mind," said his sister, Jodi Kraft.
Jodi said there's no better way to solve this mystery than by keeping it alive.
"It’s a battle every day to keep our faith,” Jodi said. “But until we see otherwise, why should we have to believe he's not here?"
The Kraft family welcomed loved ones and strangers to pray, remember and ask for help.
"Someone out there knows what happened to Steven,” said Steven Kraft Sr., Steven’s father. “I don't want to press charges, I just want to know what happened to my son."
It's the questions that keep them wondering, worrying and wanting answers.
Kraft's father said police are still actively working this case.
“They said they have a lot of leads, but three quarters of them don't pan out," he said.
And that's why, 11 years later, they feel this message can still reach someone who many have an idea of what happened to this boy.
"I'm not ready to say goodbye," Jodi cries.
"I love him with all my heart and if he could see me out here, we are going to keep the faith, we are going to find you sooner or later," Steven’s father said.
Police are still taking tips. If you have any information on this case, call Benton Township Chief Vince Fetke at 269-926-8221.
The Kraft family moved to Wisconsin a few years after Steven vanished, but they moved back to the area shortly after.