Tampa teen missing for one week, dozens gather for candlelight vigil

Family, friends pray for Hailey Acierno's return
Posted at 11:36 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 07:48:45-04

Family and friends of a missing Tampa teenager gathered outside of a Catholic church Tuesday night to show their support, one week since Hailey Acierno disappeared. 

Plenty of tears flowed as dozens of loved ones embraced Hailey's parents before a candlelight vigil at St. Mark Evangelist Catholic Church.  

REWARD OFFERED for safe return of missing Tampa teen Hailey Acierno

"Hope is still alive, that's all we can do at this point," said Hailey's father, Chris Acierno. 

Nearly 200 people stood in unison, holding candles while praying and singing Amazing Grace, looking to a higher power for strength as the search continues. 

"We have strong faith here that everything will be taken care of, that God will help," said Valerie Mainguy. 

At the center of it all was Hailey's parents, who have now gone one week without seeing their 17-year-old daughter. 

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

Hailey was last seen Tuesday in her New Tampa neighborhood off Cross Creek Boulevard. 

Hundreds of volunteers have since helped in the search by posting countless flyers around the community and walking Flatwoods Park, a place Hailey liked to hang out. 

"It's been a full seven days at this point so it's very concerning," said Chris Acierno. 

Hailey's father told ABC Action News that he's frustrated by a lack of helpful information turned into the family and police. 

"Not a lot of leads at all to be honest and it's pretty discouraging, so we're just staying hopeful that she is out there, she's OK and eventually she's going to turn up and we'll be able to get her home."

Family members continue to stress the importance of Hailey's safe return home as she's been without vital medication that helps treat her mental health issues. 

There is a $25,000 reward for anyone who can help bring her home. 

Anyone with information on her whereabouts should call TPD at (813) 231-6130.