By Tim Harfmann
Thirteen-year-old Gabriella Maldonado was in church on the evening of Friday, Feb. 28. Hours later, she went missing from her Queens home.
Now, her family and parish community are praying for a safe return.
“I just need my daughter home,” said her mother, Stephanie Feldman. “I have stage four cancer, and this is really killing me. I know that my daughter…I know there’s something wrong. My daughter wouldn’t leave me for this long.”
Feldman is frantic, hoping her daughter Gabriella comes home.
The thirteen-year old was with her mother and 11-year-old sister, Sabrina, at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church on Friday night.
The sisters are altar servers at the Forest Hills Parish and returned home after praying the stations of the cross.
Mom went to sleep at midnight. Gabriella left the house.
When Feldman woke up at 5:00am, she realized her daughter was missing and immediately called her.
“She had told me that she’s coming back home. Then she sent me a text… ‘I’m coming, I’m coming. Okay, I’m coming,” Feldman said.
But she didn’t. Gabriella’s phone was turned off Saturday evening.
She is five-foot-five, and was last wearing a navy jacket.
“She’s a wonderful big sister,” said David James, Youth Minister and Altar Server Coordinator at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. “Not the type of kid that we would ever really expect something like this from. We’re all very concerned. We’re all praying that she comes home soon,.”
Her sister is praying and pleading for a safe return.
“You are a part of my heart, you and mommy. Right now, I’m missing something in my heart, so we really need you to come home. We miss you, we need you here, and I love you a lot,” said Sabrina Maldonado.
Her mother has a message for her: “Gabriella, just please come home. We love you, and we miss you, and this is where you need to be. You’re not in trouble, we just want you home. Please come home!”
The NYPD says the investigation is ongoing as they look into every possible lead.