Aliayah's parents were also poor, and their family relationships were splintered before the girl vanished, so there has been no prominent spokesman.
And Aliayah has never been found, dead or alive.
The girl's mother was indicted weeks after Aliayah's disappearance on charges she illegally swapped welfare benefits for cash five times in two months. She was sentenced in May to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to selling $114 worth of credit on her food-stamp card for $50 cash and reported to prison in late June.
Attorney Mike Woelfel, who has represented Lena Lunsford in unrelated civil matters, has said Lena doesn't believe her daughter wandered off and has cooperated with investigators. She's also certain "no blood relative of Aliayah knows what has happened to her," though Woelfel has never elaborated.
Woelfel said he spoke to Lena Lunsford on Friday, and she told him she still believes "Aliayah is out there, alive."
"She's told the FBI everything she knows," he said, "so she's basically powerless to do anything other than sit and wait."
Lena Lunsford filed for divorce from her husband, Ralph Keith Lunsford, after her daughter's disappearance, and is still waiting for it to be finalized. She'd been ordered by a judge to live apart from Ralph after he acknowledged buying and using synthetic drugs called bath salts.
Both parents have repeatedly refused to comment on Aliayah's disappearance, but in a court proceeding, Ralph Lunsford acknowledged police had considered him a person of interest and repeatedly questioned him in the case.
Lena Lunsford gave birth to twins after Aliayah disappeared and before she went to prison. Bowen, their great-aunt, has never met them. Nor does she know where the other children are.
"Until we find answers for Aliayah," she said, "there's no chance of seeing them."
After a year with no solid leads, Bowen is frustrated - but she and a group of about 10 people still search regularly for Aliayah.
"If we hear anything, anything at all, we're there. No matter how unbelievable it seems to us, we go check it out," she said.
On Monday, Bowen and others will plant flowers near the welcome sign in Weston to honor Aliayah. They'll distribute flyers with her picture and post them at area businesses. They're even planning a small afternoon demonstration at the Lewis County Courthouse.
"We're not giving up," Bowen said. "There's no way we're going to give up. A child does not simply disappear."