Cindy Lea Sambueso and her family had planned to go out to dinner Tuesday to celebrate her teenage daughter getting her driver's license.
She even sent daughter Kat, 16, a text message saying how proud she was of her for passing the driving test.
That was the last time Sambueso's family heard from her. The 50-year-old Fresno woman, who missed at least one work appointment on Tuesday and failed to show up at a north Fresno restaurant for the family dinner, has disappeared and is the subject of an intense police investigation.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who stood next to Kat and Robert Sambueso, Cindy's former husband, at a news conference Thursday afternoon, said there is no evidence of foul play, "but the circumstances of her disappearance are highly suspicious."
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Six detectives and a sergeant are assigned to the case, which is unusual in a missing persons case, said Lt. Don Gross.
Sambueso's daughter and former husband pleaded at the news conference at the Fresno Police Department for information about her whereabouts.
"If you are out there, please come home," Kat said in a plea directed at her mother.
While police don't have evidence of foul play, Kat said, if someone has kidnapped her mother, "It's not going to do you any good to hurt her or harm her."
Robert Sambueso said the couple has a good, amicable relationship. They divorced 12 years ago, but Cindy Sambueso moved into his home last year when she ran into financial problems, he said.
"We realized we raised a beautiful daughter together," he said.
"This is not like Cindy; she is a devoted mother."
Dyer said investigators have no significant leads about Sambueso's disappearance. Police know that she dropped her daughter off Tuesday morning at the state Department of Motor Vehicles office in Clovis. She then drove to the family's Magill Avenue home in Fresno, where she picked up a basket of linens for her massage business.
She drove to her business, Body Rejuvenation & Healthy Touch For Animals, in the 7600 block of Ingram Avenue. Her office is a suite in a two-story building, one of many tucked into the Palm Bluffs area.
The basket of linens – which also contained Sambueso's cell phone – was found later at the business, Dyer said.
Sambueso told her daughter she had a noon appointment Tuesday, Dyer said. She also had a massage appointment later in the afternoon that she missed, Dyer said.
Police don't know who Sambueso was meeting at noon Tuesday, he said.
Police have checked for bank account and credit card activity and found none. They also checked at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to see if she had left the city. They visited local hotels, checked surveillance cameras near her office, including police video cameras, and found no trace of her or her car, the chief said.
Dyer said Cindy Sambueso has no past history of disappearing for a prolonged period of time and is not on medication.
The case is not at the level of other high-profile missing persons cases, such as that of Sandra Kerby, a Fresno school teacher who disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 1999, Gross said.
Teams of family and friends have printed hundreds of fliers with Sambueso's photo and information about her and her car, a four-door red 2000 Honda Accord with license 4LVP286.
They were giving out fliers Thursday to anyone who was willing to put them up in their businesses or vehicles, Robert Sambueso said.