MIDFIELD, Ala. — Tiffany Smitherman Osborne’s family marked her 31st birthday without her Tuesday as police in her small Alabama town continued to search for her nearly a month after she vanished.
Osborne, a mother of three small children, left her Midfield home Feb. 17 on foot. She has not been seen since.
"She was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and dark boots," a flier from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. "Her direction of travel is unknown at this time."
Osborne's disappearance has garnered national attention. Her mother, Cathy Smitherman, told "Dateline" earlier this month that her daughter would never abandon her family, the youngest of whom is a 3-month-old baby boy.
"She would never just walk out on her children," Smitherman told the show. "And she would never not let anyone know where she's going. That's just not her."
Osborne’s boyfriend told police she left around 11 p.m. on the night she disappeared to walk to a convenience store about a block from her home. A Midfield police detective told “Dateline” the store was closed at that hour and the workers there said they never saw Osborne that night.
Detective Michael Jeffries told the news show Osborne left her cellphone behind.
Osborne’s boyfriend told authorities he and the couple’s infant son fell asleep and when he awoke, she had not returned. He reported her missing two days later.
Smitherman told "Dateline" she fears her daughter met with foul play.
"What I don't understand is why she would walk to the store so late at night, especially when they have more than one vehicle sitting in the yard," she said.
Jeffries said police have scoured the area around the store and Osborne’s home and followed up on numerous tips and possible sightings.
"I've knocked on doors and have spoken with all her friends and family," Jeffries said. "At this point, it's a missing persons case and we're doing everything we can to bring her home safe."
ABC 33/40 in Birmingham reported Sunday that the search for Osborne had intensified as Midfield police officers and deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office conducted a search of the home Osborne shares with her boyfriend.
Neighbors told the news station investigators were at the scene for hours.
Smitherman wrote a bittersweet birthday message to her daughter Monday morning on Facebook.
"She is 31 years old today, but I can't celebrate with her," Smitherman wrote. "Neither can her kids, which is breaking my heart."
Smitherman wrote that she has listened to her granddaughters pray for their mother to come home.
"Baby girl, just know I love you and these kids love you," she wrote. "I know someone knows something and they are not telling. Well, I want you to know that you are keeping my daughter from me and her kids and I pray no one ever does that to you."
She urged anyone with information to step forward.
Osborne is described as about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 140 pounds. She has hazel eyes and blonde or strawberry blonde hair.
She has a tattoo on her abdomen that reads “Tinker Bell.” On her back are the names of her daughters, Summer and Kylie.
Midfield investigators are asking anyone with information about Osborne's whereabouts to contact them via Facebook or by phone at 205-923-6637.
Anonymous tipsters can contact police at 205-745-3559.