For the mother of Melissa Watkins, who has been missing since Nov. 12, the tough part is waiting for news of her daughter.
"The hardest part about it is the waiting," said Carolyn Watkins, of the 3600 block of Erdman Ave. "It's the not knowing.
"I just deal with it day to day and pray," the mother said, adding she hasn't returned to her nursing assistant's job since Nov. 11, the last time Melissa visited her.
"She came over and washed her baby's clothes and we folded them, had dinner and watched TV," Carolyn Watkins said.
The next day, Melissa Watkins, 19, did not return home after purchasing a leather coat at a store at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, the last place she was seen. Melissa Watkins lives with her boyfriend and 3-month-old daughter, Raquel Williams, in the 5000 block of Denview Ave.
"I know she misses Missy in her own way, but it hasn't affected her moods or her appetite," Carolyn Watkins said of Raquel.
When she left home to buy the coat, Melissa Watkins, who suffers from asthma, had left her medicine at home.
Carolyn Watkins said her daughter's "spirits were high" before her disappearance and that she was looking for a job. In fact, two employers had called Nov. 9 and the fateful Monday for her daughter to come in for final interviews, Carolyn Watkins said.
Melissa Watkins, the youngest of three children, graduated from Stratford Business School in June and from Dunbar High School in 1989. She wanted to become a legal secretary, her brother, Tyrone Williams, said.
Police, family members, friends and volunteers have combed different parts of the city, including Herring Run and Leakin parks, the Moravia Road and Frankford Avenue area and along Force Road, where Carolyn Watkins' Ford Escort, which Melissa Watkins had borrowed, was found Nov. 14.
Carolyn Watkins said she suspects foul play. "Wherever she is, she's afraid and probably crying," the mother said.
"I know my baby wouldn't get up and just walk away," her mother said. "She loved her baby."
Police and family continue to search for the missing woman. The family has printed and distributed approximately 600 fliers with her photo and has offered a $1,000 reward.
"We don't have anything right now," said Sgt. Robert Dean, of the Police Department's missing persons unit. "We're trying to develop some leads. We're at a dead-end."