San Diego

‘Trusting and Believing She's Alive': Mom of Missing Woman Asks for Public's Help in Finding Daughter

San Diego police (SDPD) are searching for Debra Puente, a missing, at-risk 50-year-old woman who did not report to work on Friday.

The mother of a missing San Diego woman last seen near a Grantville bar a week ago is pleading for the public's help in finding her daughter. 

Terri Phillips, the mother of 50-year-old Debra Puente, hopes that anyone with information about her daughter speaks with San Diego police. 

"She's loved, she’s missing, and you have to let her go if you have her," Phillips said, wiping away tears. 

Puente went out with friends after work on Tuesday, March 28. That Tuesday, she left the Longhorn Bar and Grill off Mission Gorge Road with friends. 

Puente was last seen leaving the area near the Mission Gorge Road and Friars Road transition in San Diego driving a black 2013 four-door Hyundai with California license plate 6XRP212. 

Puente was supposed to be at work on Friday, but she never showed up and she did not report her absence. 

She has not contacted her friends or employer since then, police said. Authorities believe the woman may be at risk because it is unlike her to miss work. However, foul play is not suspected. 

"She's a free spirit, she doesn't have an enemy, and so that concerns me, now, you can be too friendly to the wrong people," Phillips said.

Phillips said that in the 14 years Puente has worked at Wa Wa Nesa, she has always called her job to let them know she would not be coming in. 

"She wouldn’t have left her dog," Phillips said. "She wouldn’t lose her job. She’s reliable in that sense."

Police continue to investigate. Phillips said that as she waits, she's hanging in there.

"Hanging in there, hanging in there. Just trusting and believing that she's alive," she said.

On Wednesday, police discovered Puente's car, abandoned, on the 5000 block of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach. The car was found with a parking citation dated March 30, police said. 

Puente's purse was found locked inside the car, a discovery that worried her mother. 

"Debra, if you're seeing this, I don’t believe you’re hiding because you wouldn’t do it, but if somehow, wherever you are, you hear this on TV or you see it, just come home," her mom said.

Police say Puente is known to be outgoing and may frequent local bars. 

Puente is described as 5 feet 4 inches, 115 pounds and has a large mole on her left cheek bone under her eye. Police do not know what she was wearing when she was last seen. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or Detective Shelly Luna SDPD Missing Person’s Unit (619) 531-2277.

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