From the minute she was reported missing on November 18th, Tonia Stiles' family and friends have not given up hope -- or the search -- often going out on their own in Grass Lake Township to look for her.
But Friday, something changed.
"We're never going to find her now," Stiles' friend, Charity Golombek, said. "We're never going to find Tonia."
Tonia's live-in boyfriend Scott Steven Cassidy, in jail since November 24th for an unrelated charge, hanged himself Friday inside a jail bathroom.
"With his passing, Tonia's family believes so, too, did the information of her whereabouts.
"He held the key to finding her," Golombek said. "He knew something and now we'll never know where she is."
Cassidy was the last person to see Tonia Stiles police said, he's also the one who reported her missing.
"Detectives have talked to Scott Cassidy and gotten information from him," Lt. Jim Shaw of the Michigan State Police said. "Obviously it's disappointing. Our condolences go to the Cassidy family. Obviously we would have liked to interview him further."
Both police and the family of Tonia Stiles believe this is a major setback in the search for her, but both say they won't give up until they get some answers.
"Our investigation will continue," Lt. Shaw said.
"The family is not going to give up on her," Golombek said. "She is somewhere. If it takes 5 or 15 years, we'll find her."
Golombek said Stiles would never leave her two children without notice, which is why as time passes, it gets a little harder.
"If you're out there, please come home," Stiles' son said.
A candlelight vigil is being held in Stiles' honor Saturday night at 6 p.m. a Napoleon Township Park.
Tonia Stiles is 34 years old. She is 5'4", 140 lbs with blond hair and blue eyes. She has a full back tattoo of tribal art. She has a scar on her right leg that is about an inch long, and a birth mark on her upper lip.