WARREN —Patrick Haddican still sees her.
At work this week, he glanced at a woman, perhaps an athletics trainer or maybe a teacher, as she rode by on a golf cart at Watchung Hills Regional High School.
With a quick glance, he saw his daughter, with her dark hair pulled into a ponytail. But in an instant, the image of Margaret Haddican-McEnroe vanished with the realization that the passing woman was not his missing child.
"That's what happens. You see somebody, something, a glimpse of something," Haddican said. "You see somebody do something and it reminds you of her."
Two years ago Friday, Margaret Haddican-McEnroe vanished from her township home, leaving behind family members, her husband and three children — now ages 10, 3 and 2.
Authorities, without giving details, maintain that they are still actively pursuing the case, and a $20,000 reward still stands for information leading to Haddican-McEnroe's whereabouts.
Her family members say they continue to believe she's alive and well.
"We have two alternatives. One is she abandoned her three kids. That means we have to hope that she abandoned her three kids and the other is that there is some form of foul play involved," Haddican said this week. "Those are the only two possibilities. So we have to have hope. One way or the other, we have to hope that she abandoned her children, otherwise we're accepting the fact that she's dead.
"Hope keeps us from accepting the fact," he continued. "Time seems to be leaning that way, but we can't give up hope."
Haddican-McEnroe, 29 at the time of her disappearance, last was seen Oct. 10, 2006, when husband Tim McEnroe left the house in the early afternoon to buy baby formula. When he returned at 3 p.m., Haddican-McEnroe was missing and their baby daughter was still in her crib.
Haddican-McEnroe's car, cell phone and other belongings were left behind, but $11,000 in cash reportedly was gone. McEnroe waited two days before reporting his wife missing because he and friends expected her to return after taking time to cool off from an argument the couple had a day before she vanished.
There have been no suspects named in the case, which has continued to receive national media attention, and previous leads and searches have come up empty.
Family and friends are expected to gather Friday to pray and release balloons outside of Our Lady of the Mount Church. A ribbon adorns the mailbox at the Haddican home and trees in the front yard are decorated in Haddican-McEnroe's memory.
"All I know is, I can't believe this much time has passed," Tim McEnroe said Thursday. "Somebody, somewhere, knows something and by getting it out ... whoever wants to run the thing, I think that's great because that's what, as far as generating tips and leads, that's what does it."
When McEnroe was asked what he would say to his wife two years after her disappearance, he had a simple answer: Come home.
"That's about the best-case scenario I can think of," he said. "And if she didn't want to come home, to let someone know something. I don't know, but I would love to have her walk in the door right now. But it hasn't happened."
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