Ansonia city leaders hit the streets to bring holiday cheer to community, encourage people to look out for Vanessa Morales

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti and other city leaders took some unusual steps to try and cheer up their community Saturday night.

Ansonia is a community that’s been hit hard in recent weeks by the murder of Ansonia mom, Christine Holloway, and the disappearance of her 1-year-old daughter, Vanessa Morales, who is still missing after two weeks, and for whom an Amber Alert remains in effect.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” said Kathy McAuliffe, an Ansonia resident.

“I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle that she is found,” Mayor Cassetti said.

Speaking of Christmas, the mayor and a group of city leaders used the upcoming holiday to try and spread some holiday cheer in an effort to pick up people who have been consumed by this story. They went around town Saturday night going door to door singing Christmas carols.

“I was jamming out here; I really got into it!” one resident named Linda said.

The group of about 20 city leaders and their family members not only sang Christmas carols, they also talked to people urging them to keep Vanessa Morales in their thoughts and prayers.

The mayor says his police department is doing everything it can to try and find her.

Vanessa went missing on December 2nd — the same day police officers conducted a welfare check on her home and found her mother dead of blunt force trauma. Vanessa was not in the home and hasn’t been seen since. Police issued an Amber Alert a few days after the discovery.

This week, police named Vanessa’s father, Jose Morales, the main suspect in both her disappearance and in the death of her mother. At the most recent police press conference this week, officers asked people to look out for Vanessa’s polka dot child comforter, grey backpack that’s used as a diaper bag, and a car seat that was taken from Christine Holloway’s car.

Police told News8 they are operating under the assumption Vanessa is still alive and being taken care of by someone.

“That’s what our driving force is,” said Lt. Patrick Lynch. “When you see something like that would be used to care for a child, that gives us the impetus that she’s still out there and she’s with someone and we want to bring her home safely.”

Mayor Cassetti has a message for whoever may have Vanessa: “Please, please it’s Christmas time. Please — bring her back.”

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