SAN ANTONIO – It's been 25 years since Erica Botello was abducted and killed. Her disappearance in August of 1990 came three weeks after 11-year-old Heidi Seeman was taken - forever linking the two.
"It was devastating to everyone. I can remember all the volunteers just crying," said Vanessa Tate-Winn, former president of the Heidi Search Center. "You just didn't even know what to do. It was very tragic."
Tate-Winn was one of thousands of people who joined in the search for the missing girls. "It was an immediate response. You just can't ignore the fact that two young children went missing. At the time we'd never really had anything in San Antonio like that happen " she said.
Heidi and Erica's bodies would eventually be discovered on the same day. Their funerals were held simultaneously. Their killers were never captured. While Heidi became the namesake of the Heidi Search Center, Erica's story faded to the background.
"There was misconceptions. People said throughout the years it was a north side south side thing. It wasn't that at all," Tate-Winn said. "Two precious little girls lost their life for no reason, and my intent has always been to remember both of the girls and to not let anybody ever think that Erica was forgotten or that Heidi was."
25 years later this month serves as a painful reminder of two girls gone too soon. But to Tate-Winn and those who remember the dark time in the city's history, keeping Heidi and Erica's memory alive is worthy endeavor.
"I know that if it was my child I would never want anyone to forget her, whether its been 20 years of 50 years," she said.