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'We're not giving up': Family searching for answers 2 years after Anacortes woman disappeared

It’s been two years since Laynee Westbrook and her dog Precious disappeared from Anacortes. Her family is still fighting to find her.

ANACORTES, Wash. — It’s been two years since Laynee Westbrook disappeared from Anacortes, and her family is still fighting to find her.

“We're not giving up,” said Emily Pepper, Westbrook’s sister-in-law. “We're not going to stop, and she deserves it.”

Westbrook's family has been fighting for answers since she disappeared, sifting through tips, leading search parties and now hoping for answers.

“It's just waiting now and waiting for someone to be brave enough to say something and hoping that they do,” said Pepper.

Westbrook went missing on Sept. 10, 2020. According to her family, Westbrook and her beloved dog Precious were seen on security video at 7:11 p.m. leaving the San Juan Motel in Anacortes, where she had been living. Her family said she left with a man she knew. Westbrook was spotted at 7:30 p.m. at the Chevron gas station next to Swinomish Casino with the same man.

Westbrook and her dog haven't been seen since.

“I absolutely believe she did not disappear on purpose," explained Pepper. "She's not on vacation. She has not used her cell phone or bank card since the night she went missing and she would not do this to her family."

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Westbrook’s family told KING 5 that the man took her to a campground where he'd been staying and then reportedly dropped her off a few blocks from the hotel in the early morning hours.

“Knowing that the person she was last with is out there living his life is really, really hard,” Pepper said.

Keeping Westbrook’s case out there is critical, and why her family held vigils every month for the first year and again this past Saturday.

“Every time we hold a vigil, something new is discovered,” Pepper said. “There's always a new person to talk to or a new perspective on things.”

Anacortes police said they're searching for answers, including excavating a site in rural Skagit County in July. The department said the most recent major development came as the result of citizens coming forward with information.

“There are not a lot of factors that are in our favor with this case,” Anacortes Police Chief Dave Floyd said. “The ones that we have could be extremely key pieces when we get to the point that those factors come into play. For now, releasing those pieces could jeopardize the case as it stands. We understand and share in the frustration regarding this case felt by Laynee’s loved ones and her community.”

Westbrook’s family is hopeful they'll get answers.

“We want Laynee to know that we love her, and we're never going to give up on her, and no matter what we do, we're going to get justice for her,” Pepper said.

Westbrook’s family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to her whereabouts. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Laynee Westbrook, please contact the Anacortes Police Department’s non-emergency line at 360-428-3211, or leave an anonymous tip by calling 360-299-1985.

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