Chicago, IL

Honor Student Survived Years Of Abuse. Then She Vanished. What Happened To Yasmin Acree?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

15-year old Yasmin Acree lived with her adoptive mother, Rose Mae Starnes, in the 4800 block of West Congress Parkway on the west side of Chicago.

Yasmin and her brother, Demarcus, were sent to live with Rose, who is their aunt by marriage, in 2001.

Rose adopted the siblings in 2006, reports The Charley Project.

Yasmin and her brother were taken from their mother, Joyce Acree, who is now deceased.

The toddlers were severely neglected and removed from her care in Kentucky, due to her drug addiction.

The toddlers were shuffled between foster care, group homes, and their mother for years and subjected to terrible abuse early in their lives.

The siblings ended up in the Kentucky foster care system for years where Yasmin was sexually abused.

She developed severe behavioral and emotional issues due to the abuse.

Unfortunately, this abuse left Yasmin with low self-esteem and boundary issues.

It was reported that she continuously used inappropriate contact with other adults and children. Caseworkers and therapists had advised that Yasmin never be left alone with another child to protect herself and the other children.

When Demarcus turned sixteen in 2007, Rose asked him to leave her house, reports The Charley Project.

On January 15, 2008, Yasmin, a freshman at Austin Polytech Academy, was excited about starting a new job. She went to school, then to the North Lawndale YMCA, came home, did some laundry, and then went to bed, reports America's Most Wanted.

The next morning, Yasmin was gone.

Rose left Yasmin home alone with her then live-in boyfriend, Charles Burt, for two days while she visited her daughter and played slots at the Grand Victoria Casino.

58-year- old Charles Burt was the last person to see Yasmin.

He said that he was taking the garbage out on January 16, 2008, and saw that the basement door had been forced open. The padlock was cut and the door jam was busted. He said Yasmin was nowhere to be found and assumed she went to school early, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Charles said he then called Rose and left her a message. Rose said her cellphones were not working correctly and that she never received the call or a message.

Rose won more than $6,000 at the casino and stopped to buy a cell phone on the way home.

When she arrived home, her niece told her the house had been broken into.

She then had Charles fix the door, ruining any potential evidence.

Around 5:00 pm, when Yasmin failed to return home from school, Rose realized Yasmin only had half a day at school and called the police.

There was no sign of Yasmin, and she has never been seen or heard from again.

According to AMW, the police found a lock on a gate that had been cut behind their home.

Rose also owned the building they lived in. One of her tenants, Jimmie Terrell Smith, had just been released from prison after serving more than 10 years for attempted murder.

According to The Chicago Tribune, a diary of Yasmin’s was located with excerpts referring to “Tyrell”. Authorities think the predator, Jimmie Terrell Smith is “Tyrrell”.

The Department of Children’s Services never knew this predator lived in the building and it took investigators a year and a half after Yasmin’s disappearance to figure it out.

In 2009, Jimmie Terrell Smith was arrested for raping five females, including two 14-year-old girls he kidnapped, reports The Charley Project.

Rose saw the news broadcasts about his arrest and contacted the authorities.

According to WGN, the police later admitted officers initially mishandled the investigation.

Authorities reportedly failed to secure a door handle that may have held the fingerprints of a suspect.

Jimmy Terrell Smith claims he has killed three other women since he was paroled in 2005. He has stated that taking a person’s life is “the easiest thing in the world.”

Rose led multiple prayer vigils and marches when Yasmin vanished. After her disappearance, Rose sank into a deep depression which caused her health to decline, reports The Chicago Tribune.

In 2011, CBS Chicago reported Rose said, “It’s been four years. It’s been hard. It’s been rough. Yasmin, if you can hear us, we love you and we do miss you and we’re doing our best to get you back.”

Rose was found in her Oak Park home.

Rose Mae Starnes died February 24, 2014 at the age of 57 of natural causes related to health issues.

"We've never stopped looking. We've always had hopes they would find answers," said Damarcus Acree, Yasmin's brother, reports ABC 7.

Yasmin was 5'1" and weighed 125 pounds when she vanished.

Yasmin Acree’s family is offering a $10,000 reward in exchange for new information.

Please contact the Chicago PD with any information at 312-746-8365.

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The Vivid Faces of the Vanished tells the stories of missing and murdered minorities.

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