Search continues for missing mother

Search continues for missing mother

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX (KLTV) - For more than a month, police and family members have been searching for a missing Sulphur Springs mother.

Police say 33-year-old Melissa McVay Darling was last seen on surveillance video leaving an Oklahoma casino in early June. There has been no sign of her since.

While police say this is still a missing persons case, they are now looking through evidence to see if it's something worse. Melissa's mother says from the beginning of her disappearance, they felt something was terribly wrong.

Melissa's mother, Retta Murphy, says she talked to her daughter everyday.

"That's how I knew something was wrong because she wasn't calling," she said. "The last conversation was, 'hey mom I'll see you Friday afternoon, and that Friday afternoon has yet to come."

But since June 10th, the day of Melissa's disappearance, Murphy says her daughter's cell phone records indicate there have been no outgoing calls or text messages.

"For her phone to just stop period---that's highly unusual," she said.

Sulphur Springs Police Detective David Gilmore is the lead investigator in the case. He says dozens of agencies in Texas and Oklahoma are actively searching for Melissa.

"Yesterday we searched the Red River area of Lamar County right at the state line," said Gilmore. "We had 32 officers out there."

Police recovered her car at Lake Hugo, about ten miles away from where she was last seen. Gilmore says there is a person of interest.

"At this point in the investigation, this person of interest is definitely someone that has, his, their actions before, during and after Melissa's disappearance has caught our attention," he said.

Right now, Gilmore says there's no physical evidence that a crime has been committed. Melissa's mother says whatever has happened to her daughter, she just wants to know.

"I'm hopeful, but I'm realistic, and that's what keeps me up at night," she said.

If you have any information about this Melissa's disappearance, you are urged to call police. Family tells KLTV Melissa's six-year-old daughter asks where she is everyday.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.