MOTHER’S PLEA: ‘I just want her home’
CHERYL-LEE Francis looks like her daughter.
She has the same petite features and the same stunning blue eyes.
The difference is, Shae's face can now only be seen in photographs, leaving her grieving mother with unanswered questions running circles in her mind.
Shae was last seen in October last year.
Her boyfriend of two years, Jason Cooper, 44, has fronted court on a manslaughter charge.
Shae was reported missing by her mother in March. She had not spoken to her daughter since she visited Cheryl in hospital in October last year.
Shae would have turned 36 today.
As she sits on the Esplanade opposite The Hub in Torquay, Cheryl's voice wavers but does not break.
"I just want her to come home," she said.
"It's the not knowing that is the worst, the places my mind goes, where Shae might be now."
Police are yet to find a body and Cheryl has spent every day scouring the nearby beach and bushland for her daughter's grave.
"I have crawled every inch of that beach," she said.
"Especially when I could not find her at Christmas time, I searched every hospital and every service.
Cheryl said she has not given up hope Shae will come home, even if "coming home'' meant that she would have a body to bury instead of not knowing.
"This is torture, wondering every day. My mind is never at rest. She is so beautiful," she said.
"She is gentle, kind and wonderful. A special, special person."
"I have written down everything 200,000 times and I still can't find the right words to speak about it."
Cheryl said she was so proud of her daughter for reaching out and seeking help on Mother's Day last year.
"She moved up here with me because she was a very sick lady and asked for help and came home and was accepting help.
"She really was getting better," she said.
"We made a promise to each other we were going to spend the rest of the year focusing on our health and I would help her as much as I could."
Police investigations revealed Shae was last seen alive by management of The Hub in Hervey Bay, where she had been living.
She went to pay rent on October 15 last year.
In honour of Shae's birthday, Cheryl is appealing to the public to ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00 or Police Link on 131 444 with any information about Shae's last known movements after October last year.
At this stage, Ms Francis will not be holding a memorial for Shae until more information comes to light.