CARROLLTON, Texas — Inside the Gomez home Monday night, family members held frustrated conversations. It is easier than silence, which is too much to bear.
"They must be scared. They're not home," said Maria Gomez, talking about her two grandchildren than she has helped raise.
Eight-year-old Dominique, seven-year-old Marcus, and Maria's husband, 57-year-old William Gomez all disappeared mysteriously on Sunday. Every minute that goes by without word on where they are is maddening.
Gomez wondered if her husband's issues with memory loss are to blame for the trio's disappearance. He said he was taking the kids to the park or the mall around two o'clock, but they never returned home.
"I think he is confused; he thinks he's driving home," she said. "He was raised in New Jersey, so he could be driving home... but we don't know."
What police do know is that someone using William Gomez's bank card purchased gasoline in northeast Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Troy, Tennessee.
The card was then used to pay for a $21 charge at a Sears in Padukah, Kentucky. Police said surveillance video showed Gomez with the children in the store, buying underwear. He reportedly asked the clerk for directions back to Dallas.
"He's stubborn that way. Even though he may think he's lost, he'll keep driving straight," said Maria Gomez.
But her husband has never disappeared like this. And he must know he's far far from home. Have they stopped for food, or sleep? The family can only pray they are pulled over soon and that they're safe.
Police were searching the Paducah area and nearby hotels for Gomez and his grandchildren. He's believed to be driving a white Jeep Cherokee, license plate DH1-Y337. If you've seen them, please call police.