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On Florida Missing Children’s Day, a father remembers


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One phone call, one tip, one memory.

“It just takes one and you just never know,” said Patrick Sessions, the father of missing UF student Tiffany Sessions who disappeared in 1989.

“Somebody who, you know, just Googles ‘Tiffany Sessions’ and then they end up on a website and end up with more information. Maybe they can help.”

Today is Florida Missing Children’s Day. The event is held each year to recognize missing children, to educate citizens on safety awareness, and to honor individuals in Florida who made a difference in the life of a child, according to Carol Frederick, special agent supervisor of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse.

The ceremony in Tallahassee had more than 500 people in attendance, Frederick said, and was hosted by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Missing Children’s Day Foundation.

Sessions’ daughter, Tiffany, was a University of Florida student. She went for a walk near her Gainesville apartment complex on Feb. 9, 1989, at about 6 p.m. and never returned home.

Patrick Sessions said families with missing children count on people for any possible help.

“It’s the only way we ever find out what happens to our kids,” he said.

Sessions said the Florida Missing Children’s Day event is important for families of missing children because it helps to get the public thinking about missing children again.

“I think it is important particularly in a case like mine, where there is no resolution to it,” he said. “It is nice to know that people still care about missing kids. It helps, frankly, because it gets it in the front of their minds.”

Patrick Sessions launched a website for Tiffany Sessions and hopes this new era of social media will help him gain some closure.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to have gone this long and not know what happened to your daughter,” Sessions said. “I don’t think about it 24 hours a day like I used to, but I still would like to find out what happened.”

If anyone has tips on Tiffany Session’s disappearance, visit Tiffany Session’s tip website to contact the proper law enforcement agency.

For more information about Florida Missing Children’s Day, visit the Florida Missing Children’s Day Foundation. 

WUFT-FM’s Robert Lopez contributed to this report.

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