Alexis S. Patterson
Updated: Jan 13, 2022
Alexis Patterson went missing at the age of 7 on May 3rd, 2002. Alexis and her family lived on the 2200 block of N. 49th St, in Milwaukee WI. Her stepfather, LaRon Bourgeois, walked Alexis to Hi Mount School, which was about half a block away from their home, and was located on West Garfield Ave in Milwaukee WI. He watched her cross the street and walk towards the school playground before turning to leave.
When she hadn't returned home from school at 3 pm, her parents and her family become worried and learned from the school that she had not attended any of her classes that day.
It is reported that Alexis was seen crying on the playground. Her parents thought that it was possible that Alexis might have been upset with them because they wouldn't let her bring cupcakes to school for a snack. Her parents insist that Alexis would never run away or leave willingly with a stranger.
Two weeks prior to her disappearance, parents at the school received a letter warning them about a man who was trying to abduct a boy.
One week before her disappearance, teachers had seen Alexis talking with a "random lady" outside of the school. Her mother spoke with her about not talking with strangers. Two days later, the same woman was seen outside the school trying to talk with Alexis again. Students later reported to police there was a red truck parked outside of the school for about a week, that it sat in the parking lot and that it did not pick up or drop off any student. The red truck was no longer seen once Alexis was reported as missing.
In the weeks following Alexis's disappearance, police had set up a command center in Washington Park searching for her by boat, motorcycle, horse, and even doing underwater searches. The Milwaukee Sheriff's Office even used their helicopter in the search for Alexis. the massive search involved 41 police officers, 7 police supervisors, several sheriff's deputies and even called upon the the Milwaukee residents to help in whatever way they could.
Several tips were reported at the time of Alexis's disappearance:
-late model, red GMC sport utility vehicle with tinted windows parked outside of the school that week
-dark blue SUV speeding away from area around the time she went missing
-seen near empty warehouses by 32nd & Hampton and also 32nd & Atkinson
All tips were looked into at the time but police were not able to find anything in the warehouses and were not able to find the cars as they did not have any other information to identify them.
Alexis was last seen wearing a red hooded jacket with gray stripes, a purple shirt, blue jeans, and white Nike tennis shoes. She has a scar under her right eye and bump on her left pinky finger. She was 3'8" 42 lbs and has black hair, brown eyes.
Through the years, numerous tips have come in. One coming from Ohio in 2016, where a woman's ex-husband contacted police after realizing how similar his ex-wife looked to Alexis Patterson. His ex-wife had no memories prior to age 10. Law enforcement issued a DNA test, which excluded the woman as a match.
Alexis's mother, Ayanna Patterson, is filled with hope that her daughter will come home to her, vowing to keep searching for answers.
“Even with her being gone that long, it hurts like hell,” Patterson said. “But I’ve turned my pain into power.”
The City continues to remember Alexis giving Alexis's Mother A Commemoration for each year she has been missing. Each year, public officials walk the route Alexis walked, and lay a wreath in honor of Alexis. In 2012, May 3rd was declared as "Alexis Patterson: Forget Me Not Day" by Mayor Tom Barrett.
Milwaukee Police Department continues to hold a $10,000 reward for anyone that has information leading to the return of Alexis.
Age progression of Alexis Patterson
This is what she'd look like at 24 years old.
Any Information or Leads should be directed to:
Milwaukee Sheriffs Office
Milwaukee Police Department Cold Case Hotline
Milwaukee Field Office of the FBI
FBI Tip Website
More information can be found at:
Missing & Exploited Children & Adults
Journal Sentinel-May 2019 "Seventeen Years Later: Alexis Pattersons mother hold out hope that her daughter is still alive
Journal Sentinel-May 2002 "Search Steps Up for Girl"
Stories Unsolved-Jan 2020 "The Disappearance of Alexis Patterson"