NORTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Family and friends of Noemi Gonzalez gathered Friday night to pray for the safe return of the missing woman.
Gonzalez, 54, disappeared from her North Miami home February 12th.
“We hope that the prayers from everybody will bring her back home,” said Carmen Norman, Gonzalez’s niece.
“Every day goes by gets harder and harder,” said Vincent Andujar, Gonzalez’s nephew, adding, “It’s strange. It just is a mystery and that’s why everybody’s worried.”
Gonzalez’s son, Pedrito Gonzalez, said he last saw his mother when she was sleeping in her bedroom at 2 a.m. last Wednesday. When he woke up and checked on her at 8 a.m., he said she was missing. He said she had left behind her pocketbook, keys and cell phone.
Andujar says that’s not like the Noemi he knows.
“She don’t leave without telling somebody. She’s always does her room, she always does the bed, she puts her shoes on. That’s just strange to us,” he told CBS4’s Maggie Newland.
“She’s always thinking about her family, always,” said Norman.
The family is offering $5,300 reward for information that will lead to finding her.
“She means a lot, a lot,” said Evelyn Gonzalez, her sister. “We love her very, very much and we want her back as soon as possible. We miss her,” said Gonzalez as she fought back tears.
“I don’t want anyone to go through this,” she told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “This is very, very hard. You get up and you think, where is she? What happened to her? How come she is not here? It is all we think about.”
Evelyn Gonzalez and two of her brothers drove to North Miami from northern New Jersey to ask for the community’s help and pass out new flyers that show the new reward and pictures of Noemi Gonzalez, who is 5’1” tall and 160 pounds.
They passed out flyers in the area of Gonzalez’s duplex at Northeast 5th Avenue and Northeast 136th Street. The flyer mentioned that Gonzalez requires daily medication for epilepsy.
The flyer urged anyone with information to call (305) 846-1669 or the North Miami Police Dept. at (305) 891-0294. Police also say anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305)471-TIPS (8477).
The reward being offered by the family is in addition to the reward of up to $1,000 that is also being offered by Miami-Dade Crimestoppers.
“We are a very close family,” said Evelyn Gonzalez. “We are very close. She took care of my mother and my father and took care of her son, everybody. She is a very giving person, very loving.”
“She has never done anything like this before,” she said. “Please if you hear anything, please help. Let us know so we can bring her back because we all miss her.”
Frank Gonzalez said, “My sister means so much to me. She was the one who took care of my mother for so long. We love her very much because of that. I see her picture and I think of our mother. She was a very giving person and very caring. Oh my God.”
“What would it mean to find her?” asked D’Oench.
“Oh my God,” he said. “It would be the biggest day of our lives.”
Noemi Gonzalez’s emotional son Pedrito said, “She has never done anything like this before. I have no idea where she is. She’s my mom. She is all I got. She is all I got.”
When Gonzalez disappeared, Pedrito Gonzalez also found that his mother’s bed was unmade which is unusual for her. The front door was closed but unlocked.
“Anyone who sees her should help her find her way back home,” he said.
The search for Gonzalez involved a Miami-Dade police helicopter scouring the area and North Miami Police officers going door to door with their own flyers last Friday morning.
Miami-Dade Police brought in dogs including a bloodhound that sniffed one of Noemi Gonzalez’s blankets. But no signs of her were found near her duplex.
Gonzalez’s brothers and sisters said Gonzalez and her son had lived in the duplex since 1986. They said that she was not currently working and is a former 911 dispatcher.
Noemi Gonzalez is the youngest of 12 children.
In a statement from her New Jersey home, her sister Liz Gonzalez said, “Her disappearance is registered with NamUs and Lost N Missing. We’ve asked the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida of which she is a member to distribute and post her information in all their Florida chapters.”“Time keep on ticking,” she said. “And we fear for her safety and her life. She suffers from epileptic seizures that require daily medication and never leaves the home without informing a sister or a family member of her whereabouts.”
North Miami Police Major Neal Cuevas said police are looking for leads in this case and have no new information to release.
Noemi Gonzalez was last seen wearing navy blue pants and a white shirt. Her family says she has no history of mental illness.