DAVENPORT, Iowa — The mother of missing ten-year-old Breasia Terrell says she is not giving up her search for her girl, convinced that she is coming home.
"She could tell us everything that we need to know. And she will. I know she will," said Aishia Lankford. "I mean, I just have to find her."
On Monday, the day that Davenport Police Department ended coordinated volunteer searches for Breasia in Clinton County, Lankford spoke to News Eight from the home of her mother, Donita -- Breasia's grandmother.
"If she was laying in the ditch or anything somewhere -- which I know she's not -- we would have seen her by then," Lankford said.
Lankford, too, has participated in searches organized by Scott County Emergency Management Agency in rural Clinton County as well as improvised, self-organized searches since her daughter went missing 10 days ago on Friday, July 10th.
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Hundreds of people have helped in the searches; to them, Lankford says she is so grateful.
"I appreciate that, and it gives me that much more motivation that I have an amazing community behind me here," Lankford said.
But she also remains convinced the answers are with Henry Dinkins, the man Davenport Police have named as a "person of interest" -- but have not charged -- in Breasia's disappearance.
Dinkins requested that Lankford visit him at the Scott County Jail on multiple occassions, where he is in custody for a sex offender registry violation and parole violation.
"He broke into tears after about 10 and a half, 11 years that I’ve been around him. I’ve never seen him show that much emotion. So I know he knows something. I don’t know why he’s holding it in. And he knows more than what he’s saying," Lankford said.
Dinkins is the father of Lankford's youngest son and Breasia's little brother, 8-year-old Detorious. Lankford said on July 9th, Dinkins offered to take care of Detorious for the night at his Davenport apartment, where he lives with his girlfriend.
Breasia, always a good little sister, wanted to tag along with her little brother.
"I spoke with her. I spoke with the woman. You know I checked it out, they’re having a good time," Lakford said. "My call. And to wake up and know that my son comes back and she doesn’t was more heartbreaking than anything."
Lankford says now she made a mistake, trusting someone she shouldn't have. But she remains convinced that her little girl will come home.