DANIA BEACH—-Lucely Saldina says she is not giving up, she is determined to find her daughter.
It has been more than three years since Lily Aramburu vanished, and now Miami-Dade Police tell CBS4 that they are stepping up their involvement in this troubled case, and they are also asking for the public’s help.
Aramburu was 23 when her boyfriend says he last saw her leaving their apartment not far from the Dadeland Mall. She has not been seen since.
“Lily represented everything that I knew that was good to me and always wanted,” said Saldina, whose Dania Beach apartment is filled with photos of her daughter and her grandson, Palden.
Palden, 4, now lives with Saldina.
“She represented happiness to me,” Saldina told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, as she fought back tears. “Hope is always there. I just want to find out if she is out there. Is she alive?”
Bud Aramburu had a problem.
“She was involved with drugs but was getting her life together,” Saldina said. “She was going to drug court and she had everything to live for.”
Her little boy, Palden, was just 6 months old when she disappeared.
“The baby meant everything to her, she has a reason to stay alive,” Saldina said. “But I am realistic enough to realize that she may not be alive… I know somebody out there knows something.”
While there are no clues as to what might have happened, Saldina said “I know that Lily did not just disappear. She is a human being. She is a daughter and a mother. And that must be respected.”
Saldina and Private Investigator Joe Carrillo have been circulating flyers describing Aramburu; she was 4-feet and 11-inches tall and weighed just 100 pounds. Her hair is brown and her eyes are hazel. She has pierced ears, a scar on her left hand and a scar on her lower abdomen. And she has two large, distinctive music symbols tattooed on her lower back.
Aramburu also had previously broken her right wrist and back.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
Aramburu also has a medical condition and may need medication.
Carrillo said some key, potential witnesses have not come forward.
“We’ve attempted to speak to them,” Carrillo said. “And when you’re asking for help from people who know her and they won’t help, that raises some big red flags. I think there’s people out there who know who they are. We’ve managed to identify two groups of people who are of interest to police.”
D’Oench also spoke to the lead detective in this case Ray Hoadley who has just been assigned to this case.
Hoadley has been a detective for 25 years with Miami-Dade and says that it is too early to have additional details in this cold case.
“We’d like anyone who is in her circle of friends or anyone who was around her at the time she disappeared to come forward,” said Hoadley.
“There’s some people out there who we have made contact with. I don’t know if they are deliberately trying to avoid us or whether it’s just that they are out of town,” Hoadley said.
“Are you eager to solve this case?” asked D’Oench.
“Absolutely,” Hoadley answered.
Saldina’s daughter has been featured on billboards and posters statewide since 2007, and Saldina says she welcomes the stepped-up efforts by Miami-Dade Police.
“Solving this would mean closure,” Saldina said. “It would mean answers. Answers for my grandson when he asks what happened to his mother.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine Site Finder
Anyone in the public who knows anything about this case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305 471—tips.