SAN ANTONIO - Nearly six months have passed since the disappearance of 70-year-old Maria Jesus Llamas. She was last seen November 20 leaving the Poteet Flea Market.
As Mother's Day approaches, it also marks a special milestone for Maria and her husband.
"It's a day I'm dreading because it's gonna be the first time we don't have our mother," said Maria's son, Junior Llamas.
"Normally we would be organizing a barbecue and trying to organize something at my parents' house, and of course we're gonna be there, but it's very different. We're missing our key person, which is my mom," said Maria's daughter, Margie Llamas.
May 20 marks six months since Llamas vanished from the Poteet Flea Market.
"She was with my father," Junior said. "That's their ritual every Sunday. They go to the flea market, they go to church, and then she loves going out there to listen to music."
"For some reason she didn't want to be there. She was like, 'You know what? Let's go already.' So she urged [my dad] to go," Junior recalled. "They continued to walk and my dad had passed by some booths before they went to listen to music and there was a special. So he was like, 'Hey, let's go walk by on the way back.' So they continued to walk. He stopped and he said, 'Hold on, wait a second,' but she didn't hear him and she kept walking. By the time he looked up, in 30 seconds, she vanished. Thirty seconds is all it took to change our lives forever."
Cameras showed Maria leaving the property. Her purse was found soon afterward in a creek a mile and a half away.
"In the last month, we've received so many tips," Margie said. "There's so many people still out there that are helping us look."
Llamas suffers from Alzheimer's disease and needs daily medications. Family members told KENS 5 shortly after the disappearance that Maria had never wandered off before for an extended period of time.
"Before my mother's disappearance, she didn't know who she was," Margie said. "In her mind, she was a young girl living with her parents. We are desperately looking for her. As we're looking for her, she's looking for her own parents."
Junior told KENS 5 that each of the siblings has their moments, but they stay united for Refugio, their father. That's because Mother's Day will also mark the couple's 47th wedding anniversary.
"It's taken a toll on himself," Margie said. "We've seen him age 10 years in the last six months."
Maria is 5'2 and she was last seen in a black sweater, black pants, and black shoes.
A reward of $5,000 is still being offered for any information on her whereabouts.
"[My dad] just wants my mother home, as we do," Margie said.
If you have any information, call San Antonio police at 210-207-7660 or the Heidi Search Center at 210-650-0428. You can also send a message through the Facebook page, Help Find Maria Jesus Llamas.
To support other families who have a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia, the Llamas Family participated in the 5th Annual Race to Remember 5K, benefiting the Alzheimer's Association.
Margie offered the following words of encouragement to other families:
"Having them with you, don't take that for granted. Even if they don't know who you are, tell them every day you love them. They still have feelings and they're still gonna appreciate that."
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