Brittany Hammond’s family acknowledged the possibility their search would have an unhappy ending in early January, when they first asked for the public’s help finding the young Switzerland County mother.
She vanished Dec. 12, 2018, after promising her own mother she would be back from the store within an hour. Her phone, an accessory so important she often refused to leave it in another room, had been turned off.
But an unhappy ending would still be something, her mother, Melinda Wessler Lewis, said then. The four months since have yielded nothing.
“It’s been heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s like torture. You know she’s out there. You know someone knows some information. Nobody is coming forward with information they have to help find her.”
According to Lewis, Hammond had recently broken up with her boyfriend and visited his mother’s home on the night of her disappearance. She called Lewis after she left and said she would be home soon.
Then the phone was turned off.
The family spent the weeks immediately after Hammond’s disappearance searching for her in person, at times walking along muddy riverbanks in the rain, she said.
Police have taken over since. Although they’ve assured Lewis they have leads, she said she hasn’t received any concrete information.
She doesn’t know what to tell Hammond’s five children, who range in age from 3 to 8.
“The little ones don’t know,” she said. “They’re too little to understand. The oldest one keeps asking if they found her mother yet.”
Anyone who sees Hammond or has information about her location should call police immediately, she said. Anyone aware of the disappearance should keep their eyes peeled.
In the meantime, Lewis will be waiting by her own phone.
Every time it rings, “you hope it’s a detective calling you saying they found her or has some information on where she might be.”