Mystery still surrounds missing girl, dead mother found in San Francisco park

Authorities on Friday increased the reward for information in the death of a San Francisco mother and her missing 2-year-old daughter as their family and friends held a vigil at the park where the mother's body was found.

San Francisco police and the FBI are offering a $250,000 reward for leads in the 2016 disappearance of Arianna Fitts and the killing of her mother Nicole Fitts, 32, whose body was found buried in McLaren Park.

"It makes me sad because I can't see her smile anymore," said Nicole Fitts' sister Contessa Fitts. "And it makes me angry because that was stolen."

She added, "The biggest thing that I can do for Nikki, that can be done for Nikki is to bring her daughter home."

Claire Bonnar, Nicole Fitts' sister-in-law said, "To have that taken away, taken away way too soon, it's going to be something that I carry for the rest of my life."

Arianna Fitts was last seen with babysitters in February 2016.

Two months later, her mother's body was found in McLaren Park by Recreation and Park Department workers. She had been buried in a small, shallow grave, curled in the fetal position and covered with plywood with unusual markings on it.

She had been a Best Buy employee and single mother of two daughters, and according to police, had been "summoned to meet a person known to her," on April 1, 2016. 

Neither mystery has been solved.

Last year, a $100,000 reward was announced to help find the little girl.

And in April of this year, police released a rendering by a forensic sketch artist showing what Arianna may look like now at 8 years old.

"We'll pursue all leads, examine all evidence and seek out all individuals who ma have information on this case," said James Aherne, acting commander of investigations at the San Francisco Police Department.

Scott Schelble, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in San Francisco, said, "It's been six years of heartache and uncertainty for their family, their friends and the entire community."

He said agents and the SFPD have made headway, recovering additional evidence with the help of technology and witnesses, new and old.

"In just the last few months alone, we have developed many leads," said Schelble, who declined to elaborate for fear of jeopardizing the case.

"We will never give up until this case comes to a resolution," Schelble said. "We will never give up until we have justice for Nicole and justice for Arianna."

Anyone with information about the homicide or with information on Arianna's whereabouts is urged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.