Vanessa Morales still missing: Where the investigation stands one year later

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Nearly one year to the day on Tuesday, baby Vanessa Morales went missing from her Ansonia home. Her mother, Christine Holloway was found beaten to death in their home the same day. Still, no word on any leads on where baby Vanessa might be, but detectives are not giving up.

Ansonia police are still trying to piece together the last known moments of Vanessa.

A concern now is how much she may have grown since the last photo of her was released on Dec. 2, 2019. Police told News 8 they are working every angle of the kidnapping.

The baby’s father, Jose Morales, is behind bars charged with Holloway’s death. But police are still left with more questions than answers when it comes to Vanessa’s whereabouts.

RELATED: Jose Morales, father of missing 1-year-old Vanessa Morales, pleaded not guilty in murder of former girlfriend

Lieutenant Patrick Lynch of Ansonia Police Department told News 8 on Tuesday, “We continue to investigate the case as a whole. We were able to make an arrest fairly quickly on the homicide part of it but we haven’t had luck on the missing child…Unfortunately, none of the tips we’ve received has led us to be able to locate Vanessa.”

With 365 days gone by, she may look different from the last photo released to the public during last year’s frantic search.

News 8 asked investigators about the potential for updated images of the missing child using age-progression technology — a tool often used by law enforcement to provide updated photos of what a child may look like months or even years after a disappearance.

“Our detective bureau is in constant contact with the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the state police and that is something that would be worked on at that level,” Lt. Lynch explained. “And if it when that is done, that’ll be something we would immediately release.”

News 8 reached out to Vanessa’s family who said they are still holding out hope for her safe return, asking the public to keep a lookout.

“For all we know, she could be dressed as a boy,” said Danielle Holloway, Vanessa’s aunt. “She might have her hair dyed. She will obviously look a little older than the pictures we constantly share. So, even if you think in the slightest that the child in the parking lot has a slight resemblance to her, call it in, send an anonymous tip. You never know.”

Now, Lynch wants to make it clear that age progression photos would be something that would come from an assisting agency like the FBI or state police and they are in ongoing conversations about this active investigation.

If you have any information about Vanessa, Ansonia police want to hear from you at (203) 735-1885.

There is still a $10,000 reward leading to Vanessa’s safe return.

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