The mother of a 19-year-old woman who went missing from a downtown Denver nightclub a week ago anxiously awaited word about her daughter's whereabouts Friday as police said they were making the disappearance its top priority.
Kenia Monge (mon-hey') was seen at the 24K Lounge the night of March 31 and again at a gas station about two miles away at 3 a.m. on April 1, authorities said. KMGH-TV reported she left her purse and cellphone at the club.
Johnny Coast, the operations manager of the 24K Lounge, told KDVR-TV that Monge danced with a man for hours on March 31 and that staffers saw them leave together through a back door. Police spokesman Matt Murray declined to confirm that report, and wouldn't say whether the man had been interviewed. Coast did not return a message left by The Associated Press.
Monge's tearful mother, Maria Lee, spoke to a reporter at her home in suburban Aurora, saying Friday marked the eighth day since friends and family had spoken to Monge. She described her daughter as very sweet and friendly.
"I feel like they took my baby daughter, my heart, my soul, my everything," Lee said. "I feel like just running out of this house to go look for her, to find her. I'm so tired."
Officers don't know if Monge was the victim of a crime or if she deliberately dropped from sight, Murray said. Dozens of officers were conducting interviews and searching for clues both in and outside of Denver, and officers were scheduled to work on the case through the weekend, he said.
"Anybody who has been missing for as long as she's had, you would suspect they'd be in danger," Murray said. "With no contact with any of her friends and family, we have to be concerned."
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were helping with the investigation.
Monge is described as 4 feet 11 inches and 115 pounds. At the nightclub, she wore a black skirt, black jacket and red high-heeled shoes.