JERSEY COUNTY, Ill. – Ten months ago, Paige Bell’s mom went missing.
“It’s been rough, because she’s always there for her kids,” Bell said.
A family photo sits on Bell’s dashboard as a constant reminder of who she’s missing.
“I take it with me everywhere I go,” she said.
Paige’s mother, Kaila Votale, went missing on Jan. 8 in Dow, Illinois, in south Jersey County.
“She doesn’t want people to feel down or sad, so if she could make you smile, she would,” Bell said.
Bell and her family are still searching for closure.
“Being in a family of someone who has been missing for so long, it’s hard, and it hurts,” she said. “It feels like you’re alone even when you’re not.”
The Jersey County Sheriff’s Office exhausted all of its resources when Kaila first went missing searching on foot and in the sky using infrared technology. But with no new recent leads, Sheriff Nicholas Manns is hoping fall may provide new clues in their search.
“This is the time of the year in our county where hunters are out in the woods,” Manns said.
As the hunting season begins the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office is hoping any hunters may be able to find clues in wooded areas that may not have been searched before.
“Were just asking them to watch for anything clothing or anything that may indicate human activity,” Manns said. “The hope is the more people that go through, the more people we can have paying attention, and maybe they’ll see something we missed.”
A hope Bell is clinging to as well.
“It feels pretty good knowing I’m not alone in searching for her,” Bell said.
If you have any information on Kaila’s disappearance, you can reach out to the Jersey Sheriff’s Office at 614-498-6881.