GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- Mary Peters made a televised pleajust days after her daughter, Deanie, disappeared.
"We just want you to come home, Deanie. Please."
Twenty-nine years later, she still waits.
"I don't think you ever get over it; you kind of move on," shetold 24 Hour News 8 in her first televised interview since the daysafter the disappearance.
"There's certain times of the year it's worse than others, likenow, because it's coming up on the anniversary of her disappearance-- of 29 years.
"So, I don't think you ever get over it, because there's noclosure here."
Mary Peters watched her daughter walk across a school gymnasium-- for the last time -- on Feb. 5, 1981.
Deanie, an eighth-grader at Forest Hills Central Middle Schools,was there to watch her 6-year-old brother wrestle. She was supposedto babysit that evening. They were getting ready to leave thegym.
"She asked if she could go to the restroom first, and she walkedacross the gym floor and never came back," Mary Peters said.
The disappearance led to searches and fears -- false accusationsand failures. But there was no resolution.
It wasn't long before Mary and her husband, John Peters --Deanie's stepfather -- moved with their son to Arizona. They havesaved some of Deanie's stuffed animals and photographs.
"It's not a shrine," Mary Peters said. "I don't believe in that,but there are a lot of things we have in the room that arehers."
The passage of time has helped -- a little. Their son is now35.
"It helps heal the wounds a little bit because you have to moveon, plus, you had our son who was 6 years old at the time, and youhad to move on for him," she said.
Then, in March 2008, the Kent Metro Cold Case Team reopened theinvestigation -- with five detectives working full time, travelingto seven states, putting in 10,000 hours and interviewing 300people.
Mary Peters had complained several years ago after a conflictwithin the Kent County Sheriff's Department led cold caseinvestigator Eugene Debbaudt to quit the job before tackling herdaughter's disappearance.
Debbaudt, a retired FBI agent, recently had solved the 1993murder of millionaire businessman Robert Fryling. He complainedthat some former Kent detectives were uncooperative.
"It took a long time for them to get there, but we certainly doappreciate and thank everybody that's worked on this case -- Imean, the police, the sheriff, the state police, the detectives,"Mary Peters said.
The new team has updated the Peters family on the progress, andrecently, there has been progress.
"We would hope and pray that somebody would come forward thatknows anything, even if it may be something they think is verytrivial," John Peters, Deanie's stepfather, told 24 Hour News8.
In the meantime, the Peters family is preparing for a darkanniversary on Friday -- and for the phone calls from those whomark it with them.
"The phone calls, they always come at the wrong time," MaryPeters said. "They do."
A memorial is scheduled Thursday night for three young siblings who died in an apartment fire 10 months ago.
A donation account has been set up to help the family with its search to find a missing loved one.
Wind chills will be in the single figures Thursday, with snowfall totals in the 1- to 3-inch range.