Four children of a northern Nevada woman who mysteriously disappeared a week ago made a tearful appeal to the public Wednesday to help find her and her dark blue pickup truck.
Brenda Scott, 44, last was seen the morning of June 3 at her home in Fernley near U.S. Interstate 80 about 30 miles east of Reno.
Investigators said she may have been depressed because she suffers from chronic back pain but they've been unable to develop any leads that would give them a clue as to where she is or what may have happened to her.
"Please help find my mom," said Nick Scott, 14, who saw her when he left for school at 6:55 a.m. but returned home to find her missing at 3 p.m.
"She's part of our family and right now, our heart is gone," said LaWayne Harwood, 26, a daughter who was among a dozen family members who appeared before television cameras Wednesday at a private investigator's office in Reno.
Mrs. Scott, who's birthday was Wednesday, is about 5 feet 1 inch tall, 150 pounds, with brown-red hair and blue eyes.
She had laid out the dress she intended to wear to Nick's eighth-grade graduation party the night of June 3 along with a gift and a greeting card, family members said. She bought ice cream for the party the day before and had made arrangements to pick up meat and cheese on June 3.
"We believe maybe she went to the grocery store," said Desiree Veloz, 22, another daughter who gave an emotional description of their efforts to locate her the past week.
"She was in a good mood the night before ... and in a good mood when Nick left for school," Veloz said.
"She's been single for more than 20 years. Her kids are her life. She would never leave Nick there by himself."
The Lyon County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case as a "missing person in danger or under suspicious circumstances," said Rob Hall, a sheriff's detective. He said he did not want to speculate on whether she may have been abducted.
"We want to remain completely open minded," he told The Associated Press.
Hall said they were in the process of trying to locate surveillance videotapes in the area that may have caught a glimpse of Mrs. Scott. But he said there's been no activity on her credit cards, debit cards or bank account that would help lead investigators to possible witnesses.
She may be driving her blue 2001 Chevrolet Silverado with Nevada handicap license plates 57110, which she obtained because of her back injury. She is known to frequent areas between Fernley and Carson City as well as Pyramid Lake and Lake Lahontan, family members said.
"At this point, probably the most important thing is the vehicle. We haven't had any reports of anyone sighting it," Hall told AP.
David Spencer, a private investigator and former FBI special agent, said there's no evidence Mrs. Scott was kidnapped. There was no sign of forced entry or any struggle at the home.
"But there certainly are enough unanswered questions that indicate an investigation needs to be done to help put an end to this family's terror," Spencer said at the news conference.
Because of the proximity to Interstate 80, he said he's witnesses over the years "a lot of incidents of people abducted from people traveling that corridor."
"That's why we want to get the message out far and wide," he told reporters.
Spencer said it is important to keep an open mind about what may have transpired.
"She was depressed because of some severe back pain ... But there's a lot more to lead us to believe she didn't intend to leave," he said.
She apparently left only with the truck and her keys. She left behind her medication, cell phone and makeup.
"What woman leaves without makeup?" Spencer said.
Anyone with any information is asked to telephone the Lyon County Sheriff's Office in Fernley at 775-575-3383 or private investigator David Spencer in Reno at 775-829-2810.