Christmas without a loved one is always difficult, but for Celine Ethier, the mother of Melanie, it's particularly hard.
It's been 24 years since the 15-year-old girl disappeared without a trace while walking home from a friend's house in New Liskeard.
Today is Melanie's birthday.
"As this year draws to a close, and Melanie’s birthday on Christmas Day approaches, I need to let you all know that I am exhausted, both physically and mentally," Celine writes on her Facebook page.
She has received hundreds of tips and done numerous searches, trying to find her daughter in the 24 years since Melanie's disappearance.
"Unfortunately, I am in the same place as I was on September 29, 1996, still wondering where my precious child is. I need to sit in my silence for a while and I need to regroup and I need to breathe for just a short time. The dead ends, the endless hours of searching and the hopelessness has left me completely drained."
The struggle is taking its toll, and she clearly needs rest during what she calls "a crazy year," but a mother's love means she won't stop.
"I will NEVER give up. I’m just saying that I need to be quiet for a short time. Winter does that to me, it always has since Melanie disappeared. I dread it more than you can even imagine.
"This year, I’ve decided to take this time to heal and pray and believe that in the spring, when we are able, that we will come together, we will start new searches, we will dig for more answers and pick up where we left off, but for just a moment, I need to remember my Christmas baby, that beautiful girl that has stolen the hearts of thousands of people who wish for nothing more than to help me bring her home."
OPP released three videos this year that looked at unsolved homicide and missing person cases hoping a tip from the public might help solve the mysteries.
One of the cases is Melanie Ethier who disappeared without a trace while walking home from a friend's house in New Liskeard, less than a kilometre away at approximately 2 a.m. on Sept. 29, 1996. She was never seen or heard from again.
Find the videos at OPP News.
The series provides a behind-the-scenes look at the investigations.
Celine desperately wants news of her daughter, but remains thankful for all the help and support she has received.
"I sincerely wish you all a very Merry Christmas and joy and happiness in the New Year. I want to take this moment to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart..Let’s Work Together To Bring Melanie Ethier Home"