LITTLEROCK (CBSLA.com) — This week marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of a stay-at-home mom in Littlerock.
Friends and family held a vigil Sunday in Lancaster to remember Monique Figueroa.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez talked to her loved ones who said they were hoping to raise enough money to hire a investigator who can give them some answers.
Despite music and a picnic, the gathering of the friends and family was bittersweet.
“It’s hard,” said Jan Delong, said the missing woman’s mother, “Some days are harder than others. Today is really hard for me.”
Time has not healed the wounds of her daughter’s disappearance. It’s been a year of not knowing where the 28-year-old mother is.
She was last seen May 19, 2015 driving away from her home.
Today, at the Lancaster VFW, her friends and loved ones shared memories. They also raffled off dolls and nights out hoping to raise enough money for a reward, or even a private eye.
“Sad. Depressed. My sister’s missing,” said J.T. Figueroa. “It’s been a year already.”
Locals discovered Figueroa’s SUV two weeks after she went missing. The vehicle was off-road and abandoned in Juniper Hills. The vehicle also had scratches. Her family believes that indicates there was a struggle.
Figueroa’s dad said his interest remains on one of her ex-boyfriend’s — a reputed gang member and now convicted murderer, who might have believed she knew too much. He was arrested for an unrelated murder two weeks after she went missing.
“She was afraid for her life,” says Jeff Figueroa. “And it was only a few weeks later, she disappeared.”
Figueroa’s family planned the day for Monique -but they dedicated it to all Antelope Valley families with missing loved ones.
It’s the unknown,” says Yvette Watts who has a missing sister. “It’s the hardest thing that someone ever has to deal with. Because you don’t have any closure. You just don’t know.”