Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some live under one roof, while others are scattered across county and state boundaries. For over three years now, the family of Maegan Hembree has had to come together in search of their missing daughter, sister, and mother.
“Kids are the common denominator in a family,” Jerry Hembree, Maegan’s father, told Dateline. “It’s a gut-wrenching feeling, when you think it’s possible something has gone wrong.”
Maegan, 30 at the time, was last seen on February 26, 2013 driving her red two-door Saturn from her home in Smyer, Texas to visit a friend in Lubbock, a 30 minute drive away. She never arrived.
According to witness testimony, Maegan was last seen accompanied by Michael Todd Ramsey, a man she had reportedly met just a few months earlier.
Three days after Meagan didn’t arrive at her friend’s, officials say they found Ramsey in possession of her car. Ramsey was detained and questioned multiple times in relation to the case, but no charges have ever been filed.
After a two year roller coaster ride spent in and out of custody, Ramsey was arrested in October 2015 on multiple parole violations unrelated to Maegan’s disappearance. Because of the parole violations and possible additional charges involving drug crimes, Ramsey could be looking at a hefty sentence behind bars.
Officials in Lubbock are hopeful that that fact may pressure Ramsey, who has been considered a person of interest in Maegan’s disappearance for some time, into cooperating. “We’re really working for a resolution on this case. We think he could have information on Maegan’s location,” Lubbock County Investigator Bo Roberts told Dateline.
Meanwhile, the search for Maegan continues. Several dog teams were brought in to search, most recently this past December. The Hembree family continues to hold candlelight vigils for Maegan to keep her name in the public eye. “We don’t want to give up on her,” Robbie Hembree, Maegan’s mother, told NBC affiliate KCBD. “We want to get resolution to find her.”
The Facebook group ‘Help Find Maegan Hembree’ has attracted hundreds to the cause of bringing support and prayers for closure. Maegan also had a strong bond with her son, Aiden, and was trying to make it as a single mom. Aiden, who will turn nine later this year, now lives with his father.
Until answers can be found in his daughter’s disappearance, Maegan’s father Jerry holds out hope that his daughter will be found, but has found acceptance and forgiveness. “We believe that God has this in his hands. We’re a family of faith, and when you can’t do anymore, you have to keep moving forward.”
Anyone with information regarding Maegan’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Hockley County Sheriff's Office at (806) 894-3126.