EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Luzerne County mother says she will never give up searching for her daughter.
Phylicia Thomas from the Sweet Valley area disappeared without a trace 17 years ago this week.
“I keep thinking of what she went through. It had to be so terrible,” said Pauline Bailey, Phylicia Thomas’ mother.
Bailey says she lives with that thought each and every day for the past 17 years. Her 22-year-old daughter Phylicia Thomas went missing on the night of February 11th of 2004 after attending a party near her home in Sweet Valley.
Bailey says over the years she has received tips from people who claimed they were at the party that night, or knew someone who was there.
“Everybody in the party heard a bunch of screaming and everybody in the party just ran. They were all terrified,” said Bailey.
She and her family have been looking for Thomas and looking for answers ever since. As the years went by her hopes of her daughter being found alive faded.
“If she was alive she would do whatever she had to. She always came here. She always came to us if there were any problems,” Bailey added.
Bailey, her family and friends have been searching. Searching for answer ever since.
“We’ve been told by many many people. Like I’m talking 50 people have called with tips that said about a party, they were at this party and that they heard terrible screaming,” said Judy Lorah Fisher, a friend of the family.
Their efforts included K-9 searches of wooded areas in the Sweet Valley area. And billboards, candlelight vigils and even asking the help of a physic.
“Please anybody you don’t have to give your name or nothing just drop us a line, tell us like where she is. We’ll go get her and nobody even has to know,” Bailey pleaded.
Wyatt Thomas was 20 years old when his sister went missing.
“It’s a long time. I just wish we could get her home. It affects all of us. Even the kids who weren’t even here. I had five kids since she… Our family is big and she was always family,” he said.
When asked, “Do you ever come up one day and say I just can’t do it anymore?” Bailey responded, “Yeah, yeah everyday but I have to. I have to do it for her. She gave her life. I can’t stop now. If I can prevent another person from being murdered by these guys I got to do it.”
We then asked “Do you have an idea who’s responsible for this obviously? Bailey told us, “Yes I do. It’s four men.”
The investigation into Thomas’ disappearance has taken so many twists and turns. Some would say detours over the past 17 years.
All this week, the I-Team will be taking a closer look at cold cases from across the region that span decades.
If you have a story that needs to be investigated send a tip to the Eyewitness News I-Team.