The Gonzalez family has decorated their home for Easter, as they have every holiday, in hopes that when their daughter returns, she will know they have been waiting for her.
Still, more than two months after Brenda Gonzalez Jackson disappeared, her family is still searching for the missing mother of six and Iraq war veteran.
“We are never going to give up searching for Brenda,” said her father Joel Gonzalez.
Renewed search efforts begin this weekend, the family said as they prepare to search a nature reserve near their daughter's house.
“We are hoping that it is a positive find, but we are preparing ourselves for anything,” said her mother Maria Gonzalez.
Brenda Gonzalez Jackson disappeared on Jan. 3 after her father dropped her off at her Park Forest home. The 31-year-old mom was reported missing two days later.
“My feeling is Brenda loved her kids so much, she never would have them so abruptly like she did,” said Joel Gonzalez. “Without IDs and coats. It was winter. You just don’t go out without… all her coats are accounted for, her shoes are accounted for.”
With weather conditions warming for spring, Maria and Joel Gonzalez hope their search will help them find what couldn’t be seen in winter snow. They are also offering a $3,000 reward for any information on their daughter’s whereabouts.
“If we find her body, we are finding her,” said Maria Gonzalez. “If we find her, it’s in her body. It’s a combination of both. We know she is out there and somebody has some little information, a clue. That’s why we put the reward out.”
Her parents said they are trying to stay strong for their other children and grandchildren, and they refuse to give up hope.
"I am trying to keep myself compose," said Maria Gonzalez. "We have to... we have to be strong."