Family continues search for missing McAllen woman

Garza was seen with convicted sex offender Michael Mele.

The search continues for missing McAllen woman Laura Garza.

The Rio Grande Valley native has been missing in New York City for nearly a week.

The 25-year-old woman was last seen leaving a popular New York city night club with a known sex offender last Wednesday night.

Her family said they last heard from her last Tuesday evening.

Action 4 News spoke with Garza TMs aunt.

She did not want to identified by name or face, but she told us the ordeal has been a nightmare for her family.

"You always watch it on TV but its been a shock and it's been a blow to us and its just getting harder and harder to deal with because more and more days go by," she said.

Police have detained a person of interest in the case, Michael Mele.

Authorities said he is a known sex offender who is being held on an unrelated probation violation.

Police said Garza was with Mele and another man the night of her disappearance.

Garza's aunt told Action 4 News that her niece would TMve never left with a stranger.

"She is very responsible about the way she conducted herself at any place and I have no doubt in my mind that she didn TMt leave that place willingly they had to take her by force," she said.

Police believe the 25-year-old woman could TMve been murdered but her body has never surfaced.

The case is getting national attention and leaves Garza TMs family wondering why someone would hurt their loved one in such a way.

Garza's aunt said everyone that met Laura fell in love with her.

"The way I can describe her is that her personality is great, does not have problems making friends she was the life of a party," the McAllen woman said.

Garza's apparent last party is where they believe Mele took advantage of her.

Her family speculates her drink was spiked and that TMs how they were able to get her out.

While questions race in their minds, all her family can do now is watch, wait and pray she'll return safely.