Yasmin Acree disappeared from her home on Jan. 15, 2008. She was 15.
At the time, Yasmin was living with her now-deceased adoptive mother, who was also her aunt by marriage. She was last seen at the home with her mother’s boyfriend. The Chicago Police Department considered that Yasmin had run away from home.
Her family has always believed the honor student was abducted.
“We’ve never stopped looking. We’ve always had hopes they would find answers,” said Damarcus Acree, Yasmin’s brother, told WLS.
Three years later, in an article published by The Chicago Tribune, a diary Yasmin hid in her bedroom was brought to light. According to the newspaper, Yasmin twice mentioned a 35-year-old man, Jimmie Terrell Smith, who had lived for several months in a separate second-floor apartment at her two-flat.
“I miss Tyrell …,” Yasmin wrote.
After serving more than 10 years for attempted murder, Smith had moved into her building. He stayed in contact with her after he moved out of the building.
At the time the article went live, Smith was awaiting trial for five years in the alleged rapes of five women and girls, including two 14-year-olds he allegedly kidnapped. Smith was charged with attempted murder for allegedly playing Russian roulette with two of the victims. He pleaded not guilty to the crimes.
Despite being in jail, his crimes did not stop there.
Smith was also accused of stabbing his public defender in the neck with a shank, trying to hire hitmen to kill a prosecutor and a judge assigned to his case.
Speaking to The Tribune in a jailhouse interview, Smith made a startling confession.
“I know what happened to her,” Smith said, adding, “I’d be putting my head in a noose,” if he revealed what he knew.
The CPD is still working on the case. A $10,000 reward in exchange for information remains.