Wednesday is a somber day for the family of a Missouri college student who has been missing for more than five months.
It is Phoenix Coldon's 24th birthday.
There will be no cake, no presents and no celebration, only a lonely reminder for friends and family that their loved one's disappearance remains a mystery.
"I wish I could give her a hug and a kiss," the missing woman's mother, Goldia Coldon, told The Huffington Post. "I wish I could tell her that her mother loves her."
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Phoenix Coldon has been missing since Dec. 18. She was last seen in the driveway of the family's St. Louis County home at about 3 p.m. Roughly three hours later, Coldon's black 1998 Chevy Blazer was impounded by police after it was discovered about a 25-minute drive from her home, at Ninth Street and St. Clair Avenue in East St. Louis. The keys were in the ignition with the motor running and the driver's door open.
Coldon's vehicle was towed by the East St. Louis Police Department and entered into the agency's computer system as an abandoned vehicle. Her family did not discover it was in police custody until Jan. 1. It remains unclear why the family was not notified, and authorities have not returned multiple calls for comment from HuffPost.
Goldia Coldon said detectives told her they have no clues or leads to follow.
"The police are not actively looking for Phoenix," Coldon said. "They let me know when they find a body or something. They let me know it's not Phoenix, but other than that we don't really hear from them."
In April, The Huffington Post reported the Coldon family had spent their entire life savings searching for their daughter. Some of the money went to a promising lead about Coldon's whereabouts that turned out to be a hoax. As a result, her family was left penniless and their home went into foreclosure. However, as news of the impending sale spread, people worldwide offered support to the family.
"The sale has been postponed," Coldon said. "The bank is working with us and they're looking into options to help us."
More importantly, donations sent in by HuffPost readers allowed the Coldon family to rehire the private investigator who initially had looked into their daughter's disappearance.
"Because of our daughter's disappearance we know there are some evil and deceitful people in this world. But, we have also learned there are a lot of wonderful people who are willing to help others, and for that we are truly thankful," Coldon said.
The family is now hoping that someone will come forward with information that leads them to their daughter.
"I'm praying that she is still alive and I am praying someone will come forward with information," Coldon said. "If anybody knows anything, please come forward. We can't find her with silence. We need somebody to say something."
PHOTOS OF PHOENIX COLDON (Article Continues Below)
Just as there will be no birthday celebration for Phoenix Coldon, there will be no candlelight vigil -- something her mother feels would send the message that she is no longer alive. Instead, those who care about Coldon have opted to spend the day together quietly, focusing on the love they share for her and the hope they have for her safe return.
"I wish someone would invent a time machine and take us back because I would want this not to happen to Phoenix," Goldia Coldon said. "No family deserves to suffer like this."
Anyone wishing to contribute to the search for Phoenix Coldon can make an online donation via PayPal to PhoenixMissingFund@Hotmail.com, or by sending a donation to Goldia Coldon, c/o: Missing Phoenix Coldon, P.O. Box 38645, Saint Louis, Missouri 63138.
Phoenix Coldon is 5-foot-6-inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She has reddish-brown hair and pierced ears. She was last seen wearing gray sweatpants with "UMSL" printed vertically down one leg, a dark hoodie and tennis shoes. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 305-482-3771. The family also has a group about Phoenix's case on Facebook.
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