TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Heaven LaShae Ross would’ve turned 31 years old Sunday if not for her tragic disappearance and death in 2003

Ross, then 11 years old, disappeared on Aug. 19, 2003, while on her way to the bus stop from her home in Willowbrook mobile home park in Northport. The bus was supposed to take her to Collins Riverside Middle School, but Ross never arrived. 

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office conducted a large-scale search for Ross in the days and months following her disappearance. Then, on December 18, 2006, human remains were found under an abandoned house in the Holt community that were identified as Ross. No arrests have ever been made in the case. 

“It’s something I’ve lived with for 20 years,” said Beth Thomas, LaShae’s mother. “They say time heals, but time doesn’t heal; you just learn to live with it.”

Northport councilman Woodrow Washington said the case greatly affected the community.

“I was here and I remember it well and for me, it was how could this happen to one of our children, to one of our kids, walking to school,” Washington said.

Whoever is responsible for her disappearance and death has not been found. The case remains open and active with the Violent Crimes Unit. 

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on Ross’ disappearance and death to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 205-464-8690.