PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- The family of a missing Orange County college student lit candles on a birthday cake over the weekend, still waiting for answers.
Donna Jou, who vanished 15 months ago, was last seen in June 2007, getting on the back of a motorcycle operated by convicted sex criminal John Steven Burgess at her home in Rancho Santa Margarita. She later texted her mother that she was being held against her will at Burgess' house in the Palms neighborhood of West Los Angeles.
Her family members said they plan to send her birthday cards to Burgess -- who is now in prison in connection with a separate case -- hoping he will give them the information to bring her home.
Tears streamed from Nili Jou’s eyes over the weekend as 21 candles were placed on a cake for her daughter.
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"Our hearts are broken," said Nili Jou, the victim's mother. "I don't know how we are living."
"He is refusing to tell us, causing us misery," she said. "Again I am begging you. Mr. Burgess, I hope you are seeing this."
"Nili wanted to have this birthday party so that when Donna does return, she will know that her family never gave up hope for her safe return and remembered her birthday and every wonderful thing about her," said Gloria Allred, the Jou family’s attorney.
About 17 friends and relatives sang happy birthday in front of TV cameras, and Donna's mother and father, Reza Jou, cried as two little girls blew out the candles.