Twelve years ago, Madam Loh Lee Hiang left Singapore to start a business in Thailand.
A year after the business was up and running, she called her family members in Singapore to tell them she was in trouble.
She asked them for money to buy an air ticket home.
The money was sent over, but never picked up.
And that was the last her family heard from Madam Loh, who has been missing ever since.
Today, her niece, Miss Mandy Loh, 24, is still looking for her.
Said Miss Loh: "I don't think she wanted to lose contact with us. She was the youngest of nine children and my grandparents doted on her.
"After she quit her job in 1996, she also spent four years taking care of my grandparents at home.
"Moreover, she jointly owns a three-room flat in Chai Chee here with my father, which was bought about 20 years ago.
"I don't see why she would disappear unless something happened to her."
Madam Loh is among the handful of cases of Singaporeans who have gone missing overseas that the Crime Library deals with.
The volunteer group, which tracks missing people here, receives about two reports of Singaporeans mysteriously disappearing overseas every year.
Mr Joseph Tan, founder of the Crime Library, told TNP he has already dealt with two cases this year.
He said that Madam Loh's case was the latest one he was helping with.
Miss Loh, a customer service officer, told The New Paper that Madam Loh, who would now be 44 years old, used to work in a factory as a quality control officer. Madam Loh was divorced but had no children.
In late 2000, she left Singapore with a male Thai friend to start a business selling roasted pork skin.
She took along $50,000, which she borrowed from her mother, Miss Loh's grandmother. Madam Loh had planned to use this as capital for the business, said her niece.
During a visit in January 2001, Madam Loh told the family that business was going well.
The family last heard from Madam Loh in February, 2001, when she called saying she was in trouble.
Said Miss Loh: "We didn't know what kind of trouble she was in, but she sounded nervous and scared. She asked us to send her $400 in the mail, so she could buy a plane ticket home.
"We did, but the envelope was returned unopened." She became uncontactable by phone, and her family has not heard from her since.
Said Miss Loh: "My grandparents were not educated, and didn't knowthey had to report the matter to the police.
"They just prayed at a temple for their daughter's return."
It was only in 2007 that Miss Loh made a police report about her aunt's disappearance. To date, she has made four such reports, the latest one made earlier this year.
She has also notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Crime Library about Madam Loh's disappearance. Miss Loh added that after her aunt's disappearance, her grandmother spent many nights crying.
Madam Loh's mother and father died in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Deathbed Said Miss Loh: "My grandmother, on her deathbed, asked to see my aunt one last time. I felt so bad because I couldn't help her do this.
"I hope someone will inform us if they have seen my aunt so she can be reunited with her family."
Another Singaporean disappeared mysteriously in Athens, Greece, last September.
Medical student Kouk Leong Jin had travelled there to present a paper at a conference. Greek police searched for him for weeks, and an appeal from his wife was telecast on TV there.
There is still no word on his whereabouts. Not all Singaporeans who mysteriously disappear may have suffered a tragedy.
Crime Library's Mr Tan said that from experience, about 15 Singaporeans "disappear" every year hoping to start a new life.
"These cases usually involve a foreign love interest. In general, they are hard to prove or solve.
"I always tell family members to keep an open mind and not jump to conclusions."
Dr Carol Balhetchet, director of youth services at the Singapore Children's Society, told TNP that it can be more traumatic losing family members overseas than losing them through death.
She said: "Grief is a process. It needs time and proof to allow the process of grieving to start."
"But if a person you are close to suddenly disappears and you don't know if they are dead or alive, there is no allowance for grief.
"The effects can be much more devastating than if the person died from illness, because there is no closure for the family members."
For example, a chef, who would now be 51 years old, "vanished" in Xiamen, China, three years ago.
Madam Chua, his 55-year-old wife, told TNP that he wanted to move to China for work.
"One day, I called his number in China, and was told it was no longer in use," she said.
"There has been no contact ever since."
The couple married in the 1980s and have a teenage son. But there were problems in their marriage.
The wife's friends have also told her that her husband has a mistress who is a Chinese national.
She has not made a police report about her husband's disappearance.
"What is the point?" she told TNP.
"It won't help anything. Our family is already like this."
Private investigator P Kalastree, who has conducted several international investigations, told TNP that it is harder and more complicated to conduct an overseas investigation.
For example, he was involved in a case in which a French woman was abducted by an Egyptian in 2001, he said. Her captors managed to trap her for nine years. To avoid getting caught, they travelled across many countries, like Egypt, Jordan and Iran.
Said Mr Kalastree: "I had to work with the embassies, the Interpol and even the FBI."
Finally, after nine years of searching, investigators found the woman and her captors in Malaysia, two years ago.
"The world is small and crime has no boundaries," said Mr Kalastree. "If someone is lost overseas, the chances of finding them aremuch slimmer."
This article was first published in The New Paper.