HOUSTON – Volunteers are searching for a mother of two who disappeared almost a week ago without a trace.
The family contacted Texas EquuSearch Wednesday after last hearing from Michelle Warner, 31, on Sept. 21.
Warner's loved ones said she would never just disappear on her own. She has an 11-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
Warner started a new job as a paralegal just two weeks ago and was eager to get her first paycheck.
She reportedly left her apartment at the Regency Square Apartments, 7222 Bellerive Dr., in the Sharpstown area, without her purse and without her car.
"She doesn't have her car. She doesn't have her phone. She doesn't have her keys and she's not here," said Ashley Peterson, Warner's cousin. "We love her and she's a huge part of our family. We want to bring her back, bring her home.
Her family said she lived in the apartment with her son and her son's father, but the two were not currently in a relationship. They lived together because she had been out of work for about 18 months.
Warner went to dinner with a friend, Scott Russell, the night she disappeared. He dropped her off at the apartment complex and left. She has not been seen since.
"It's surprising, shocking," Russell said. "I'm scared. I'm worried. Everybody just wants answers. They just want to know if she's OK and where she's at."
Warner's brother said Warner and her son's father got into a fight shortly before she disappeared. Russell said he saw Warner and her son's father argue on Thursday.
Investigators said the 3-year-old's father rented the apartment, but he has not been found. Warner's relatives said he may be in Odessa, Texas.
Warner's 11-year-old daughter lives with her father in Baytown.
Texas EquuSearch began canvassing Warner's complex Wednesday evening. The volunteers spoke with a few residents but told Local 2 they didn't come up with any substantial information.
"We kind of drove the area tonight to get a little bit familiar with it," said Texas EquuSearch director Tim Miller. "It's pretty congested, a pretty populated area."
Warner's brother said he saw large bleach spots on the carpet in the bedroom and hallway of Warner's apartment.
Homicide investigators searched Warner's apartment on Thursday. Detectives said that is simply protocol and their involvement does not mean foul play is involved. Investigators said they found nothing suspicious.
Warner does have a criminal record. She has served in time jail for drug possession. She has also been convicted of theft and credit card abuse.
"There's been some recent information that may show she could have slipped back into that addiction," Sgt. Brian Harris said. "We don't know that for sure, but best-case scenario, we're hoping that that, unfortunately, would be the case, and that she's alive out there."
Warner is white, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 125 to 130 pounds with blue eyes and dark brown hair with a slight red tint. She has a dolphin tattoo on her shoulder and a small butterfly tattoo on her foot. She also has a small stud nose ring on her right nostril.
Anyone with information regarding Warner's whereabouts is asked to call Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500.