WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) –A Winston-Salem family is pleading to the community for help bringing their loved one home

Six years ago on Tuesday, Mary Magdalene Smith disappeared, leaving her family with unanswered questions about what happened to her.

Smith’s niece tells FOX8 she was last seen by family at her sister’s home on Barbara Jane Avenue in Winston-Salem.

They say she left home with a backpack, garbage bags filled with clothes and a suitcase. The family is still holding out hope sheis alive.

They held an active search in Rurak Hall this past Saturday after getting a tip someone saw her.

Faye Hairston is a woman broken under the weight of a question that has haunted her family for six years: where is her aunt Mary Magdelene Smith?

“It’s hard because we don’t know where she’s at. That’s something she would never have done: just disappear, and no one knows where she was,” Hairston said.

Feb. 28, 2017, was the last time Hairston saw her 62-year-old aunt.

Smith was an aunt that made her smile and was someone she called her best friend

“She’s a very fun happy kind person,” Hariston said.

That night, Hairston tells FOX8 that Smith and her sister had a disagreement before she left to go to the Motel 6 on Patterson Avenue. It is now a Rodeway Inn.

“I begged her not to go, but nobody could stop her,” Hairston said. “She was in the room next to dope dealers. I think somebody robbed her and beat her and threw her somewhere.”

The family reported Smith missing after weeks of no phone calls and not picking up her checks.

They knew something was wrong. For years, her family has kept hope alive with active searchers.

They all came to a dead end.

“My momma keeps saying she thinks she’s dead, but I don’t want to think like that about her because I loved her so much,” Hairston said.

Instead, she’s going to keep praying and searching and hoping that one day, her family gets the answers they need.

“Our family knows that someone knows something…but we don’t know. We’re sure somebody else out there knows,’ Hairston said.

Hariston tells FOX8 she has not received any updates from police in the last five years regarding the case.

If you have any information, call the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700. The family plans to hold a vigil for Mary on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rodeway Inn on Patterson Avenue.