The Pleasanton community came together for a socially distanced candlelight vigil on Thursday evening to put out the word and help find Pleasanton native Sydney "Syd" West, who has been missing for more than three weeks.
Held at Lions Wayside Park near downtown Pleasanton, family members, friends and concerned citizens came out to talk about the 19-year-old former Foothill High School student and joined together in a mission to #FindSydneyWest.
"Sydney, wherever you are, you find your way home," her father, Jay West, said at the vigil. "We want you with us more than anything in this world. We want you with us and we are holding out hope that you are ok and that you are coming home."
"Sydney is an incredibly creative, highly intelligent, beautiful young woman and she's expressive through her art and her music. I think that's what made her special, that's what makes her noticeable," he added. "We're trying to educate people about who she is and her likeness to get that message out."
Nearly 100 residents turned out for the vigil on Thursday evening, responsibly social distancing from one another -- with the exception of the occasional hug of support among loved ones -- and wearing masks while listening to recordings of Syd West singing and sharing stories.
Syd West returned to the Bay Area for college after her family moved from Pleasanton to North Carolina several years ago. According to her father, she was last seen near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during the early-morning hours on Sept. 30.
Her father added that she is considered at risk due to struggles with anxiety and a recent battle with depression.
"The objective of this gathering is to spread the word and to create hope," Jay West said. "Our family is a few but together we are many and the nature of how Syd disappeared, you know a targeted search of Crissy Field is likely to not bear fruit. So we need lots of help to bring her home."
Jay West added that while there haven't been any recent sightings of Sydney, the family remains hopeful and has hired a private investigator to assist in the search currently being conducted by the San Francisco Police Department.
The West family also requested residents keep an eye out and spread the word as much as possible, especially through using social media and the #FindSydneyWest hashtag.
"So many of the people here have been so incredibly supportive, putting up flyers around town and posting on social media. You know, keep doing it. I remember so many stories over the past two and a half weeks of people being found because of a flyer on a bus. Stories that warm our hearts and give us hope that we are going to bring her home," he added.
Syd West is described as white, 5-foot-10-inches tall and weighing 130-135 pounds, with blue eyes and light-brown hair (worn in a bun on the top of her head that morning). She was last seen on Sept. 30 wearing black leggings, a teal hoodie and her favorite old slip on Vans (dark green and black print). She may have been carrying a black backpack and may or may not be wearing corrective eye glasses.
Anyone with information on West's disappearance can contact SFPD at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 (847411) with "SFPD" at the start of the text message. Those with connections to Syd West in North Carolina can also contact her hometown sheriff's office at 919-245-2909.
To follow updates on the case on social media, visit the Find Sydney West Facebook page, follow on Instagram at find_sydney_west or use the hashtag #FindSydneyWest.
Family members also mentioned that a GoFundMe page will be set up in the near future to help the family with travel and investigative costs, as well as a reward if that is deemed necessary.