Still hoping for a miracle

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fter reports of Ohio kidnap victims’ amazing rescue, local woman dreams of sister’s safe return

By Alice Du Pont

It shocked the nation when three young women, who had been missing for years, were recently found locked away in a Cleveland, Ohio, home. The women, who were freed in April after a neighbor noticed a woman clawing to escape from their prison, had been held captive for more than a decade by Ariel Castro.

For Helen Jackson, the news rekindled a flicker of hope.

“I was like ‘Oh my God, what if they could find my sister and if she’s still alive? All the years that my family has been suffering. My sister went missing from this very neighborhood.” 

Jackson and her sister Bessie Bivins were on the telephone talking to Mary Lou “Sidney” the day before she disappeared.

“She was telling us that she and her live-in boyfriend had been arguing and she was very upset. I told her that I wanted to come get her and she said not to come because everything would be OK,” Jackson said.

The telephone call from “Sidney” came around noon June 17, 2002. The couple often argued, but Jackson said they also consumed alcohol daily and that she wasn’t unduly worried, especially when her sister told her not to come get her.

“That was the last time I spoke to her, and June 15 was the last time I saw her. I regret every day that I didn’t go get her even though she said not to come. I have doubts about should have, could have, would have,” she said.

It’s especially sad this year. Jackson is renewing her vows with her husband, Lorenzo, on July 6 after 20 years. “Sidney” won’t be here. On July 20 she would have been 56 years old.

“It’s another birthday our family has had to spend without her. We’re wondering if she will ever come back to us and hoping that God will send an angel to rescue her. We will never give up,” Jackson said.

Bivins is a black female, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 89 pounds and frequently seen around Quincy Liquors. She resided at 106 S. Madison Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Quincy Police Department at