2 mothers bond over missing daughters - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

2 mothers bond over missing daughters

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A message of hope for those with missing loved ones was part of the theme from a vigil held Tuesday at Peachtree Landing for missing woman Heather Elvis.

Heather would turn 22-years-old June 30.

WMBF News anchor Christel Bell spoke to Heather's mom who said she is hoping to help other families.

Debbi Elvis says she didn't want Heather's 22nd birthday to represent another year without her.

Instead of being sad, and sulking she says she is redirecting that energy to make Heather's birthday a celebration with purpose.

The vigil at Peachtree landing was about celebrating Heather's life and helping other families.

“I just want to put that focus on CUE center right now,” said Debbi Elvis.

The CUE Center, a non-profit organization for missing people, was key in searching for her daughter.

“I know that there are a lot of expenses involved in the searches, I know there were a lot expenses in Heather's search,” Debbi continued.

On Heather's birthday, her family wanted to bring awareness to the center's efforts. Debbi also reached out to Dawn Drexel, mother of missing woman Brittanee Drexel.

“The CUE center was the onset of Brittanee going missing,” said Drexel.

Brittanee Drexel went missing in April 2009, and for the past four years her mother has served on the board of directors for the CUE center, trying to help other families.

“You feel so much better talking to someone that is going through it or has gone through it and it does help you keep up hope,” Drexel admitted.

Drexel says right now there are more than two dozen people in South Carolina missing. She encourages people to volunteer or donate to help mend a problem she calls an epidemic.

“People turn a blind eye to it, all I can say is, 'Don't ever think that it won't happen to you because I thought the same way and look where I am today,'” Drexel said.

Both mothers say they have learned to rely on each other, being part of a club that they did not ask to be part of.

“It's a bond that you automatically have, but you fight against it and you don't want to admit that it's there,” Elvis admitted.

The women say they are redirecting their focus to help others is what gives them hope.

“Debbi -- with just over a year of Heather being missing and me being through this for six years...You know there's people that have waited for answers but just know we are never going to stop looking for your missing loved one,” said Drexel.

You can visit the CUE Center website, here.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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