WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A picture sits in the center of Doris Hairston's couch, in place of a sister who she's not sure will ever come home.

"I'm hoping that she will be alive, but I feel that someone has killed her," Hairston said.

Her sister, Mary Magdalene Smith, 62, went missing in March. She was last seen at a motel on Patterson Avenue.

Smith hasn't accessed her bank accounts or cashed her disability checks since she went missing.

"That's how we know something's wrong," said Faye Hairston, Smith's niece. "When her check comes, she'll be waiting at her mailbox, waiting on her check every month. She doesn't miss the mailman."

But regardless of the outcome, the family says they just want answers. That's why they've been searching the area around the motel themselves, and recently found Smith's backpack in an abandoned lot.

Police conducted a search in the area for about 5 hours on Monday morning. They used dogs and heavy machinery to help in the search.

However, police say they did not find any new leads.

"Somebody please, please, wherever you are. Please come forward," Faye Hairston said. "We need closure for our family."