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Walsenburg family still looking for big break in missing person's case

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WALSENBURG -

A Walsenburg family is still in search of answers, as they continue to look for a Walsenburg man who vanished in December.

"It's tearing us apart, you know?  It's like our lives stopped.  We can't keep going on," said Denise Sanchez.

Her son--34-year-old Michael Sanchez--went missing about three weeks ago.

Family and friends have organized search parties every day since.

"from sun up to sun down," said Sanchez's brother, Jesse.

"Even though we know in our hearts Michael's gone, we're still going to look for him to bring him home," Michael's aunt, Bernadette Sisneros, told News5.

They had hoped that would happen by Christmas.

The holidays came and went, though, and the festive decor around town replaced by "missing" posters around town.

"Everybody comes in and asks me if I've heard of everything--which I haven't," said Desi Pacheco, who has the missing posted taped to the front door of Acorn gas station--where he works as a cashier.

Pacheco was born and raised in Walsenburg, and says many people in town--including himself--knew and liked Michael.

"It's pretty rough on everybody.  It hits you in the heart when something like this happens, you know?"

Since our initial story that aired two weeks ago, Sisneros says they've received a lot of anonymous tips, leading them to search areas across several counties.

On Friday, the search had taken Sisneros and several other family members out to Westcliffe.

She says in the last week, they've also started receiving more help from the Huerfano Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Bruce Newman says they're treating this as a missing person's case at this point, not a criminal case.

They expect the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to start assisting in the investigation sometime next week.

"We've had anywhere from 2-6 officers out at a time looking.  We're doing it on ATV's, we're doing it on foot, and using a drone."

But still--no arrests, no person of interest, and no signs of Michael.

"It's frustrating for all of us.  Just going out over and over and there's nothing," said Denise Sanchez.

The family is, once again, asking for someone to come forward.
 
"Anything would help," said Jesse.  "We don't know where to go from here.  It's been three weeks and we're drained.  We just want him home."

If you have any information that could help with this investigation, you can contact the Huerfano County Sheriff's Office at 719-738-1600.

You can also contact the family directly at 720-416-1700.

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