On Wednesday, it will be a year since Jamie Nichole Peterson, a 30-year-old mother of two, disappeared from her home in Ross.
Her family copes by living "day to day," said her mother, Darlene Peterson of Bellevue, who has taken on the task of raising granddaughter Daisy, 13, and grandson Elijah, 12.
"Just going from day to day, trying to hold onto hope, which we still do, that she will come back," said Darlene Peterson today. "She's been missed extremely. There's a big hole in our family."
Jamie Peterson was reported missing Sept. 26, after Elijah returned from school to find his home locked and empty. Her car was in the driveway, but some of her belongings, including her glasses and her purse, were missing.
Ross police, working with the Pittsburgh police homicide division and the Allegheny County District Attorney's office, continue to investigate, said Detective Brian Kohlhepp of Ross. Detective Kohlhepp declined to go into detail but said police "are still considering any and all possibilities."
The last time Darlene Peterson saw her daughter was a year ago tonight. It was a Sunday, "a normal day," Ms. Peterson says, and Jamie was getting her kids ready for school the next day.
A few years ago, Jamie did have worries with a drug problem. But she realized how important her children were to her, went through rehab and had been clean for two years, her mother said. The Northgate High School graduate had attended Rosedale Technical Institute and worked as an auto mechanic, but a year ago she was on leave because of a knee injury. She had recently broken up with her on-and-off boyfriend, her mother said.
Jim Peterson of New Castle, has organized a handful of searches for his daughter, but he called the last year "frustrating."
"I try not to let it get to me," he said. "There are days where I pace and pace and pace."
Her family and friends will hold a candlelight vigil at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday outside her home on North Freemont Avenue. Anyone with information about her disappearance should contact the Ross Police Department detective division at 412-931-9070.