1 year later, family hasn’t quit search for missing mother

SAN DIEGO -- This week marks one year since a mother of four disappeared, and her family says they still have no idea what happened to her.

Debra Puente, 51, was last seen on March 28 by friends who had drinks with her at the Longhorn Bar & Grill near Mission Gorge and Friars Road.

Debra Puente has now been missing for more than a year, but her family hasn't given up hope.

She reportedly left in a car that was found abandoned in Ocean Beach near Sunset Cliffs days later. Her wallet and ID were found inside.

“Her car had three tickets on it. It was ticketed the next morning at 6 a.m. So from 11 o’clock leaving the bar to six in the morning is where we know nothing,” Puente's sister Tami Cox said. 

Puente's sisters told FOX 5 the past year has been an emotional roller coaster.

“It’s like you are walking in a constant dream, waiting to wake up, and you don’t,” Bethany Trotter, Puente's youngest sister, said.

The family said it is unlike Puente to not show up to her job of 14 years, or check in with her loved ones. At times, they fear the worst, but they are still hanging on to hope.

“We continue to believe that she’s alive, hurt, kidnapped,” Cox said. 

“Just hanging out on the streets," Trotter said.

“We don’t know. We don’t care. We just want her home," said Cox.

As they wait in limbo, they get through the days by supporting each other and thinking of the good times.

“When I was younger, when she was still living at home, we used to dance in front of the TV to 'American Bandstand,' and I would just like her to come home so we can do that again," Trotter said through tears.

The family has faith they will be reunited with the woman known for her infectious laugh and smile. They're asking for anyone who knows what happened to her, or where she is, to come forward.

“Our parents are very healthy, but it’s aging them and it’s hard to watch, you know, and her kids, watching her kids go through this. It’s just ... we need closure and I’m afraid we won’t find it. And that’s the scary part,” Cox said. 

Next weekend, they plan to re-post flyers around the Ocean Beach area in hopes someone will finally speak up.