One week after Taneesha Brown went missing, her relatives say they are "worried sick" about what might have happened to the 25-year-old, who has struggled with mental health issues.
Brown left her Markham home, in the McCowan Road and Castlemore Avenue area, around 10:45 p.m. on Jan. 12, telling her family she was stepping out for some air. She never returned.
York Regional Police have also spoken with a man who saw Brown a short time later near Bur Oak Secondary School. He told police that Brown told him she was going on a journey.
"We're a mess … just worried sick," said Kevin Mazerolle, Brown's brother.
Mazerolle said two years ago his sister wound up in a Sudbury, Ont. hospital after disappearing.
"I met her at the hospital and she just wanted me to get her out of there," Mazerolle said, adding the difference this time is that nobody in the family has heard anything from her.
He said his sister was given medication for bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. Recently, he said, she'd gone off her medication because she believed she could heal herself through faith.
Brown had recently joined the Nation of Islam, and her family said she had been doing well.
"She thought she was getting all the answers," Mazerolle said.
'A piece of me is missing,' mom says
Kim Mazerolle said she's still hoping her daughter will come home.
"Sometimes we do things without thinking them through first," she said.
Police said Brown didn't have a bank card or cellphone with her when she left home. Her brother worries she may not want to be found, though he hopes that's not the case.
"I really don't know what is going on in her head," he said.
The family continues to put up posters around the area and has also been doing as many interviews as possible to raise awareness of the case.
Brown's mother said she just wants her daughter back.
"A piece of me is missing. It's out there. But it feels like my heart is gone," she said.