It has been nearly one week since anybody has seen missing San Antonio mom Andreen McDonald, but friends are holding out hope, Newsradio1 200 WOAI reports.
McDonald vanished from her north Bexar County home on Friday under suspicious circumstances. Sheriff Javier Salazar says they're keeping all options open, but they don’t expect to find her alive.
"The prevailing theory is that she has been killed and she is quite possible out here in the woods somewhere," he said.
Before her disappearance, McDonald worked out religiously. It was her absence at Iron Tribe Fitness that first tipped off friends that something was wrong. Pete Gamboa says she was an inspiration to others at the gym.
"Other people would see that, and she inspired a lot of people to do more than they thought they could do. That's what was awesome. She brought that energy every day."
More than one dozen current and former members of the gym spend a freezing day this week, searching rugged areas near McDonald's Timberwood Park home with no luck.
"We just want closure at this point. We just want to bring her home, one way or another."
He says McDonald and her daughter were fixtures at the gym. The six year old autistic girl was always happy and showed love to those who were there to work out with her mom.
Sheriff Salazar says they believe the girl, who is now in the custody of a family member, may have witnessed what happened to her mother.
"She's been asking for mom, and what do you tell her? She's mostly non-verbal,” he says. "In a situation like this, you have to be very careful how you handle a child."
McDonald’s husband, Andre McDonald, remains behind bars on a charge of tampering with evidence. Bond has been set at $2 million. Sheriff Salazar says he is refusing to work with investigators and is lawyering up.
Gamboa says McDonald may not be at the Iron Tribe Fitness gym, her spirit lives on.
"At the end of the workout, we do our normal 3-2-1 countdown and we say 'Andreen' instead of 'Tribe.' That's how much she means to us."