Pastor: Missing Student's Family Relies On Faith - News
Pastor: Missing Student's Family Relies On Faith
Friends, Family Continue To Hold Out Hope
POSTED: 11:44 am CST December 27, 2006
UPDATED: 12:07 pm CST December 27, 2006
CHICAGO -- In the little over a month that 19-year-old Jesse Ross has been missing, his family has never lost hope.
"They've been amazing, as far as having suffered something like this so close to the holidays," said Ken Albers, a deacon at St. John Frances Regis in Kansas City, the Rosses' parish. "Theyâ€™ve relied very much on their faith."
The University of Missouri-Kansas City sophomore disappeared on Nov. 21 -- two days before Thanksgiving -- while attending a mock United Nations conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers at 301 E. North Water.
The outgoing teen and fraternity member was active with his campus activities council and was completing an internship as an on-air personality at a local pop radio station. He was last seen about 1 a.m. at a dance at the Sheraton Chicago, but never made it back to his Four Points Sheraton Hotel room.
Missing their second child on Christmas Day -- Ross has an older brother -- his family sought the comfort of the church community they've relied on since learning their son would not be returning home with 13 other Missouri students.
"They attended Mass and were surrounded by friends and family helping to support them," Albers, who has known the freckled, red-haired teen since he was 5 years old, said on Tuesday.
Albers traveled with Ross' parents to Chicago a week before Christmas to offer a reward for any information leading to the discovery of their son.
Chicago police, who swept sections of the Chicago River and the Lake Michigan shoreline and interviewed more than 100 of the 1,200 students at the conference, said Tuesday they have no new leads.
Like Ross' parents, University of Missouri officials and members of Ross' fraternity said Tuesday they continue to hope. The fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has held fundraisers to come up with the $1,400 reward Ross' family is offering.
"It's just been a shock," said fellow fraternity member and friend Aaron Welch. "We said, 'What can we do?' We can't, like, go to Chicago to search for him. So we came up with the fund."