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Reward money rises for info that leads to missing postal worker

"It's hard — I wish we could get answers one way or the other; not knowing is worse than dead," said missing postal worker Kierra Coles' mother, Karen Phillips, on Sunday. "At least if we know, we can heal. But not knowing, we go through this every day ... we're always grieving," she said, adding that she still has a strong sense of hope. | Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times photo

The reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Kierra Coles, the pregnant U.S. Postal Service worker who disappeared in October, increased by $18,000.

“Please do not give up, because I’m not,” Kierra’s father, Joseph Coles, said Sunday, pointing out that the total reward now stands at $46,500.

He made the comments while standing alongside Jerry Glass, the head of Sir Finance, a Chicago-based loan company, who donated the money.

The pair held a news conference outside the apartment building at 81st Street and Vernon Avenue where Kierra Coles lived.

She was reported missing Oct. 2 after leaving the apartment.

Two weeks later, the department announced that “foul play” was suspected.

Kierra Coles.
Kierra Coles was reported missing Oct. 2 after leaving her apartment near 82nd Street and Vernon Avenue. | Chicago police
Provided

Coles, 26, a letter carrier, was three months pregnant with her first child when she vanished. She was due last month.

Police have offered few details into their investigation and had no updates to offer when contacted Sunday other than to say detectives are still working the case.

“It’s hard — I wish we could get answers one way or the other; not knowing is worse than dead,” Kierra’s mother, Karen Phillips, said Sunday.

“At least if we know, we can heal. But not knowing, we go through this every day … we’re always grieving,” she said, adding that she still has a strong sense of hope.

“I don’t feel like she’s not here. I just fell like she’s just out there and it’s just a matter of time before she comes back home.”

The other reward money comes from several sources, including the local letter carriers union, which previously donated $2,500 to the reward fund.

“If you know something, say something,” said Mack Julion, head of the local letter carriers union that represents Kierra Coles. “You know, it’s unfortunate that it may take an incentive like this, but the money is out there. We just want to find our sister.”

Volunteers passed out flyers Sunday near her apartment building.

“We’re not going to go quiet, we’re not going to let this rest. We’re going to continue to have vigils,” Julion said Sunday.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also previously contributed $25,000 to the reward fund. And community activist Andrew Holmes added $1,000.

Mack Julion, head of the local letter carriers union that represents Kierra Coles, holds up missing flyers Sunday at a news conference to announce an increase in reward money for information leading to her discovery | Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times photo
Mack Julion, head of the local letter carriers union that represents Kierra Coles, holds up missing flyers Sunday at a news conference to announce an increase in reward money for information leading to her discovery | Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times photo