Even though Alyssa McLemore hasn’t been seen or heard from since the 21-year-old Kent woman turned up missing April 9, Melissa Moore remains hopeful that her best friend will show up alive and well.
But that hope gets tougher and tougher for Moore to grasp as time goes by.
“I will not give up hope,” Moore, 28, of Auburn, said Wednesday. “But I do not live in a world of fantasy.”
april 9, the day McLemore’s grandmother reported her missing, Moore has tried to do as much as she can to get the word out that McLemore, the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, is still out there somewhere, needing to be found.
“I’m like a big sister to her,” said Moore, who has known McLemore for about nine years.
McLemore was last heard from about 6:30 p.m. April 9. That’s when her grandmother told her that McLemore’s mother was very ill, according to the Kent Police.
Detectives discovered that at about 9:15 p.m. April 10, someone called 911 from McLemore’s cell phone. A female voice was heard asking for help before the call ended.
The phone did not have a Global Positioning System sensor, so the general location of where the call originated is unknown. The phone number listed on 911 records indicated McLemore as the owner of the phone. The phone was out of service a few days after the 911 call and no longer took phone messages.
The McLemore’s grandmore told police that said she did not know where her granddaughter was and that she did not answer her phone when she called.
McLemore’s mother died April 12, with still no word from her daughter, although the two reportedly were close. McLemore, unemployed at the time of her disappearance, lived together in Kent with her grandmother, mother and daughter.
“I was at the funeral for her mother and I believed Alyssa would walk through the door,” Moore said, noting the funeral was something her friend would never have missed.
“She’d had been there.”
Sgt. Dina Paganucci, a Kent detective supervisor, said Wednesday that her department has few leads in the case thus far.
McLemore reportedly was last seen by a witness around April 9 near 30th Avenue South and Kent-Des Moines Road in Kent. The witness reported seeing a truck come up to the young woman.
“She was approached by a pickup, but we do not know who was driving the pickup,” Paganucci said. The witness described the pickup as green, a 1990s model, possibly with an Oregon license plate.
“That’s not very specific, which makes it difficult,” Paganucci said.
A second witness told police they’d seen McLemore at an unspecified date prior to her disappearance with a white man in his 50s or 60s, standing about 5 feet, 8 inches, and weighing 175 to 185 pounds. That man reportedly was driving a green pickup and had some type of connection with McLemore, according to police.
“We’re trying to figure out who that guy was or even if it was related to her not being here,” Paganucci said.
Moore said she last talked to McLemore a few days before she disappeared.
She also conducted a candlelight vigil for her friend last month on the East Hill, as well as conducting a car wash fund-raiser Saturday in Seattle to raise money for the Crime Stoppers Association of Washington, to help find her friend.
“I’m getting the word out about her still missing,” Moore said. “Many people do not realize she was never found.”
Moore said her motivation to keep looking for her friend partly comes from McLemore’s daughter. Moore also has a daughter the same age.
“If her daughter looks up information on her mom one day, I want her to know her mom was cared for,” Moore said. “She was not someone nobody cared about.”
Detectives continue to work on the case.
“We don’t have any idea,” Paganucci said on whether detectives believe McLemore is dead or alive. “But we have concerns based on the circumstances.”
Moore struggles each day with whether her friend is alive.
“I’m prepared both ways,” Moore said. “I just want closure.”
Anyone with information about McLemore can call the Kent Police at 253-856-5800 or call 911.