The past few weeks have been a living nightmare for the family of Charlene Voight.
"We're all just heartbroken, that's the best way to describe this situation," Marilyn Voight, Charlene's younger sister, told Dateline. "We just want my sister back and we want her safe."
Charlene, 36, was reported missing on July 8, 2016 by her parents, who told authorities neither they, nor her siblings, had heard from her. They say the silence is extremely unusual, as their daughter is usually in contact with her family daily -- whether by phone, text, or the occasional Facebook instant message.
The last time anyone reportedly heard from Charlene was on June 29.
The "always happy" blonde had just moved to Littleton, Colorado from her family's home in Southern California a month ago, after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Landscape Architecture. The move was, in part, to allow her to finally be with her longtime, on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jeff Beier.
The couple can be seen posing in dozens of snapshots on Facebook, including on a trip to the Super Bowl earlier this year, skiing the Colorado slopes and, most recently, at Charlene's graduation in June.
Charlene has always had a knack for creativity, her sister says. "She's an amazing artist. And she was just so excited to start a new career path," her sister Marilyn told Dateline. "She was excited to be in Colorado where it's just so beautiful, and for the opportunities she'd have there."
But now, Charlene is missing and authorities and her family are locked in an anxious hunt to bring her home. Authorities announced Friday they are looking into Charlene's disappearance as a criminal investigation.
In an unrelated twist, Charlene's boyfriend Beier was arrested on charges of sexual assault; the case involves another woman, not Charlene. He is being held in the Arapahoe County jail, according to police. He has not been named a person of interest or suspect in his girlfriend's disappearance.
Crime scene investigators have reportedly processed the apartment the couple shared along with Charlene's vehicle. The car was found abandoned near the complex.
Through all this, Charlene's family is making a point to stay positive. It's difficult, her sister Marilyn says, to be so far away from the investigation, but they have full faith in authorities and their investigation.
"We think it's best to not give up hope and to stay positive and patient. Someone once told me patience is keeping a positive outlook on the situation. So that's what we're going to do."
Charlene Voight is described as 5' tall, weighing 105 lbs. with blonde hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call the Littleton Police Department at (303) 794-1551.
Family members are asking anyone to share Charlene's photo on social media with the hashtag #FindCharleneVoight.