Parents of missing teen plead for her return at candlelight vigil

- The search continues for a missing teen from New Tampa. 17-year-old Hailey Acierno has not been seen since Tuesday, March 28.

Monday night. the community came together for vigil at Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in hopes of bringing her home.

The church is about a mile down the road from where Acierno was last seen. Right now, her family is relying on their faith, hoping that Hailey, wherever she is, can somehow see just how many people want her to come home.

"I fully believe God is listening and I think that if we just keep praying, she's going to come home," said Hailey's mother, Lisa Acierno.

Hailey was last seen in the Arbor Greene neighborhood, near Cross Creek Boulevard in New Tampa. Law enforcement and volunteers have been combing through the New Tampa area, looking for clues, anything that could lead them to Hailey.

RELATED: Reward offered for info on missing teen

"Nothing more we can do at this point really than just to hope, hope she hears us and returns home safely. At the very least, just lets us know she's okay," said Hailey's father, Chris Acierno.

"She's a kid. She doesn't know any better," said family friend, Cheri Brich. "Hailey is a wonderful child. She's one of the most loved children. She's just a good person."

Hailey's family says she suffers from mental illness and needs her medication.

"The only thing we can do right now is trust in the Lord and his ways," said Father David Dejulio of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. "Continue to give us hope that one day we will see her very soon again."

Though her family's faith is strong, each passing day gets harder. "The thought of potentially never finding her again is pretty devastating," Chris Acierno said. "We are just going to keep trying and hope it doesn't come to that."

RELATED: Dozens join foot search for missing Tampa teen

The crowd of family, friends and people who simply know Hailey's story want her to know one thing: "You are so loved. Please don't turn the other way. Just come home. Your mom and dad want you here. We all do," Brich said.

The search efforts have been far and wide. A Facebook group "Find Hailey Acierno" has nearly 3,000 members. Yerrid Law Firm is also offering a $25,000 reward for her safe return.

If you know anything about where Hailey Acierno might be, give Tampa Police a call right away. 

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Parents of missing teen plead for her return at candlelight vigil
  • F-35 fighter parts manufacturer celebrates 20 years in Pinellas
  • Water Street project plan visuals released
  • Girl dies after being hit by truck in Riverview neighborhood
  • Lakeland K9 unit members disciplined for speeding
  • Ybor City security guard skips court, prompting new warrant
  • Gibsonton man allegedly tweeted child porn to local TV anchor
  • Tampa police unveil pink patrol cars for breast cancer awareness
  • Serious crash shuts down southbound lanes of U.S. 19
  • Final week for the public to attend Bucs training camp