The kindness of strangers and the hope of her children have helped Joyce Tang get through the past year without her husband.
Tang’s husband, Jerry, disappeared on Nov. 29, 2005, after taking a day off because he was not feeling well. Tang, who has a medical condition that makes him prone to seizures, last spoke with his wife the morning he disappeared and he was last seen walking in Golden Gate Park, near McLaren Lodge. A year after the Haight-Ashbury resident disappeared, and as both his 41st birthday and the holidays approach, family, friends and authorities still have hope that they will find him, even though there are no leads in his case.
On Wednesday, family and friends held a candlelight vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of Jerry’s disappearance.
"I think there’s definitely been a lot of pain, but for me, having the kids around helps me get out of bed in the morning," Joyce said. "It’s just been people still calling all the time and e-mail and just sending love and support."
Police Inspector Angela Martin said the case is still open and she still receives reports of sightings.
"The case is still a very mysterious case," she said. "We have no clues. There have been sightings that we believe to be credible but have not panned out. There have been reported sightings from Boston to San Francisco."
There was a reported sighting of Tang, a father of two children, 5 and 8, and the former chief financial officer of the San Mateo-based startup Smalltown, in Golden Gate Park on Tuesday evening.
"I don’t get this full sense that, ‘Oh my God, it’s him,’ and run out there at night," Joyce said about reported sightings. She added that "it’s hard to think after a year that he’s [still] in Golden Gate Park."
There are no theories as to where Jerry might be or what might have happened to him, according to Martin, although authorities feel his medical condition may have played a role in his disappearance. Joyce said her husband did not drive a car, so if he got far, someone must have seen him.
Jerry’s longtime childhood friend, Steve Ginsberg, said friends and family continued to search for their loved one. He described the former best man at his wedding as the "best kind of person, just the kind of person that if you were around you could learn to be more gracious."
"We have gotten on with our lives but it’s hard to say we wouldn’t do anything knowing Jerry could be right around the corner," he said.
Joyce said the first thing she will do when she finds her husband is "hold him and never let him go."