Mikelle Biggs lived in Mesa, Arizona, with her parents and three siblings. According to Find a Grave, the 11-year-old was an honour student at Lindbergh Elementary School. She loved to sketch and dreamed of becoming an animator for Disney.
On January 2, 1999, Mikelle and her 9-year-old sister Kimber thought they heard the sound of an ice cream truck. They excitedly ran up to their mother Tracy who gave the girls $0.50 and told them to hurry back.
According to The Charley Project, the girls took Kimber’s shiny new pink and white bicycle and raced down the street to the corner of their seemingly safe suburban neighbourhood. Soon, the sisters began arguing over the bike and Kimber angrily stomped off, leaving Mikelle on her own.
When Kimber walked in the door, Tracy told her daughter to fetch Mikelle and set the table for dinner. Kimber returned to the corner but all she found was her bicycle pushed over — a tire was still spinning. Next to the bike were two quarters. The girls had only been apart for 90 seconds and within that time, Mikelle had vanished without a trace.
On the 5th anniversary of her disappearance, Mikelle’s loved ones held a funeral with an empty casket in an effort to feel even the slightest bit of closure. For years, Kimber lived in agony with survivor’s guilt; she blamed herself for leaving Mikelle on her own.
The case quickly went cold and it wasn’t until March 2018 that an eerie message scrawled on the border of a $1 dollar bill reignited the investigation. According to authorities, the bill was used to buy girl scout cookies in Neenah, Wisconsin. It read: “My name is Mikel Biggs kidnapped From Mesa AZ I’m Alive.”
Authorities questioned whether the message was truly written by Mikelle; her loved ones insisted she wouldn’t have misspelled her own name.
An investigation revealed the bill had been printed in 2009 — an entire decade after Mikelle’s disappearance. Of course, it was impossible to determine each person who had handled the bill over the years, and how it ended up more than 1,700 miles away in Wisconsin.
For a brief moment, Mikelle’s loved ones felt a glimmer of hope she was still alive. Sadly, authorities ultimately concluded the $1 bill was not connected to the young girl’s disappearance and was likely nothing more than a cruel hoax. 22 years later, the case remains unsolved.
“Her life was important. She touched many lives. I never want to think of her and automatically think that she is gone. I want to think of her and remember what an influence she was on me. I am who I am today because of Mikelle.” — Kimber
At the time of her disappearance, Mikelle was wearing a red t-shirt from her school (“Lindbergh” was printed on the front), bell-bottom jeans, and white shoes. If alive, she would be 34 today.
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Mikelle Biggs can submit an anonymous tip to the Mesa Police Department.