Neighbors, investigators still looking for woman a month after she disappeared

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke Police and neighbors continue to keep a missing woman in the forefront of their minds, a month after she was last reported seen.

“She was here one day and gone the next. And a month later you still can’t find her. You do think about her every day,” neighbor Jeanie Francis said.

Harriet Hodges is still missing. The 81-year-old was last reported seen March 19.

Now her neighbors are making sure she is not forgotten.

“She is still in the very forefront of our mind and we are still very concerned for her well-being,” neighbor Ashlee Ayers said.

The Missing Pieces Network and neighbors organized a candlelight vigil Sunday as a way to keep the conversation going.

There are also purple ribbons and posters throughout Grandin Village reminding people Harriet is still gone.

The color purple is in honor of awareness for dementia, something authorities say Harriet was diagnosed with at the time of her disappearance. Purple also is a color Harriet would wear a lot, many neighbors saying they would see her walking in a purple coat.

“You know, we are still holding out hope. We’re pursuing a lot of different angles about where she may be, or where she may have gone,” Roanoke Police Lt. A.S. Ashby said.

Police have no leads they are sharing at this time, but say they’re continuing to work with other agencies searching for any clues that could explain Harriet’s disappearance.

“We’ve put teams out on the greenway to search the river there. We have used some state agencies to fly drones on the river,” Ashby said.

Investigators encourage folks to stay vigilant and reach out with any tips they might have about the case.

“This is a time of prayer and collaboration, and again, the simplest thing you might have seen could break everything wide open. We just don’t know,” Ayers said.

The key now is to keep talking about Harriet, in hopes that the pieces will come together.

“She deserves to be found and to be brought home,” Ayers said.

The neighborhood is unwilling to let their hope and love for Harriet burn out.

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