WSVN — Imagine one day you’re living your life, and the next you’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. That’s what happened to a North Miami woman almost a year ago. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight’s Out for Justice, the family of Noemi Gonzalez is desperate to find her, and as the one-year anniversary of her disappearance approaches, North Miami Police are asking for your help.
People who know Noemi Gonzalez say you will never forget her.
Rosaura Castillo, Noemi’s sister: “She laughed and smiled, and she loved to celebrate holidays and cook.”
Not just Noemi’s large, adoring family. The North Miami Police Department considered her family as well.
North Miami Police Sgt. Diana Roman: “Noemi worked for us. She used to be a crossing guard for a while, and she was a receptionist here. She was always smiling; she was super pleasant. She was family to us, too.”
But last year, on Feb. 12th, Noemi literally just disappeared from her North Miami home.
Sgt. Diana Roman: “Noemi Gonzalez was home reading the Bible as she usually did. That evening she was greeted by one of the kids she tutored. She called her grandson to wish him a good night.”
At 10:30, she went to bed. When her son Pedrito got up to go to the bathroom at 2 a.m., he saw her asleep in her room.
Then he woke up at 8 a.m. Liz got the call in New Jersey.
Liz Gonzalez, Noemi’s sister-in-law: “And found that his mother Noemi was not at home. He quickly contacted her brother, who lives next door to her in Florida, to see if she had walked across the lawn over to his property, and she wasn’t there.”
She wasn’t there; no sign of her anywhere. The front door was unlocked, but all of Noemi’s belongings were where she had put them the night before.
Rosaura Castillo: “Everything was there. She never went out without the keys, without her cell phone, her purse.”
Noemi is the youngest of 12 children. Her family in South Florida and New Jersey scrambled to find her.
Liz Gonzalez: “We knew something was wrong because Noemi always kept in contact with the family, and we always knew if she was going somewhere.”
Meaning, between 2 and 8 a.m. something happened to Noemi. But what?
Sgt. Diana Roman: “In my 16 years here, I’ve never seen a case like this, and I’m not aware that we’ve ever had one like this.”
North Miami Police searched the neighborhood with bloodhounds and cadaver dogs. They searched by air, and divers went into nearby canals. They handed out flyers and checked hospitals and shelters. But as the anniversary of Noemi’s disappearance approaches, not one single clue.
Liz Gonzalez: “It’s almost as if the ground opened up and kind of swallowed her, because there is absolutely no information at all.”
Some people would lose hope. Not Noemi’s family.
Rosaura Castillo: “I have faith that we find her. She come home or we find her. I keep my phone always next to me just in case.”
North Miami Police would love to solve the mystery, but they need something, anything.
Sgt. Diana Roman: We are desperate here for some information. The investigative team at the station is just waiting for that information to get us going in the right direction, as opposed to hitting a wall.”
Someone has to know something. A $10,000 reward will be handed to the person who provides the tip that leads to the answer. What happened to the dependable, loving, smiling Noemi?
Liz Gonzalez: “We ask anyone who knows anything to please, please say something. Please help us find Noemi, because will not stop searching until we find Noemi.”
Look at her face. In one of the strangest, most troubling disappearances in years, maybe you saw Noemi on February the 12th. If so. give Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers a call at 305-471-TIPS.
And if you have lost a loved one and want to remind people you’re still out for justice, give us a call. With this Out for Justice, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
CONTACT OUT FOR JUSTICE:
Miami-Dade: 305-598-HELP (4357)
Broward: 954-796-HELP (4357)