Missing Orlando woman's family hopeful for her return

Published On: May 07 2013 11:33:43 PM EDT
Updated On: May 08 2013 09:01:16 AM EDT

After news of a astonishing rescue of three women who spent years in captivity, the family of a local woman has renewed hope that their loved one will also be found.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

This Thursday marks one year since Sandra Lemire, of Orlando, vanished, but her family now has renewed hope after seeing the case of the three Cleveland women who returned home after they were missing for a decade.

"It seems like longer than that, that we haven't seen her," said Pauline Varner, who last spoke with her granddaughter the night of her disappearance.

The single mother of three vanished after starting to date online. The last time anyone saw her, Lemire had met a man at a Kissimmee McDonald's for coffee.

Police said the man's story checked out under questioning, and since then Lemire''s family said there have been no new leads. If she's alive, and where she's been, are questions her family ask themselves every day.

"When you see it on TV, you think, 'Oh that's somebody else. That would never happen to me.' Well, it does happen. It's not a good feeling, that's for sure," said Varner. "I try not to think about it as much as possible."

As time marched on, hope of finding Lemire faded. That is, until Varner saw the story of the three women rescued after years of captivity, beatings, and rape. For the first time in a year, she has hope that her granddaughter will come home.

"It's a little bit better, something to hope for," said Varner. "You think it could happen. Maybe they could find her."

Lemire also left without her diabetes medicine, which concerns her family.

She was last seen driving a red 2004 Ford Freestyle van, with Florida license J36-8ZE, and an American flag sticker on the back.

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