Family holding onto hope 1 year after disappearance of Pandora Duckett

The search for Pandora Duckett: One year later

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Exactly one year ago, an elderly Memphis woman disappeared from her Raleigh home.

A pair of dog tags represent the past year for Kim Duckett. His mother's name and a phrase she would often say, "Keep Me Near Your Heart,” are engraved on the tags.

"You miss the love. You miss the guidance. You miss that warm smile when you felt like everything was going wrong,” said Duckett.

On January 28, 2019, Pandora Duckett who has Alzheimer’s Disease, was last seen near her Raleigh home. Duckett says not knowing what happened to his mother is the hardest part.

1 week later, Memphis family continues search for missing 85-year-old

"It crosses your mind. What actually happened, but you still wake up and hope that you have something and having that hope that she’s okay until you get more information, that’s what you go on every day,” said Duckett.

This case has also weighed heavily on investigators. Captain Anthony Buckner with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says he keeps a letter from the Duckett family close by.

"This case will forever stick with us because we, as an agency, have not been able to reach closure. We haven’t been able to bring that closure to the family,” said Buckner.

Buckner says he remembers the call like it was yesterday. He even remembers thinking about the temperature at the time, knowing they had to act quickly.

Family of missing 85-year-old woman ‘very confident’ she’ll be found

"We only got a few hours before we experience this drastic change in temperatures,” said Buckner.

More than 100 people including deputies, police officers and trained volunteers assisted in the five-day search by foot and air. Specialized teams were also called in to help. It was on day two that investigators got their first credible lead.

A woman said she had seen Duckett at a Valero station and offered her a ride home.

"She literally said, I drove away and after about a minute I turned around and she had vanished,” said Buckner.

But the lead didn’t bring any resolution and a year passed. The leads have stopped coming in. The Duckett family is offering a $15,000 award in this case as they hold onto hope and keep this mother of seven near their hearts.

"She soldiered through a lot of things and got us through a lot of things. You don’t want to leave her behind. I’m never going to do that,” said Duckett.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.