The family of a former mid-valley resident is asking for the public's help in finding her after she disappeared from her Portland home under suspicious circumstances.

Merrilee Cooley, 68, is the mother and mother-in-law, respectively, of Bryan and Wendy Eilers of Lebanon. Cooley lived in the Lebanon and Albany areas off and on in the 1980s and ran a day care center here, The Yellow Balloon.

Wendy Eilers said the Eilers family saw her Christmas Eve and on Monday, Dec. 26, at her home, which is in the Johnson City area off of Interstate 205 near the Estacada exit.

"All day Wednesday her friends were trying to contact her to confirm a trip to the coast New Year's weekend," Eilers said. "After they got no response all day, they stopped by in the evening and discovered her doors unlocked. She was not home, her car was missing, her purse was dumped all over the couch, her walker was tipped over in the hall, a couple of pieces of furniture were tipped over."

Eilers said friends called police and alerted the family. The investigation is under the direction of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, which has as of yet reported no leads to the family.

Eilers said her mother-in-law uses a walker or a wheelchair to get around following the onset of a medical condition in February. Both were left at the house, along with a medical emergency necklace, medication, her cell phone and wallet.

Cooley is described as about 5 feet, 1 inch tall and about 200 pounds. She drives a black 2010 Kia Optima four-door sedan, Oregon license 126 FGC.

Eilers said Cooley likes to see friends and to travel but has always told others of her plans ahead of time.

"We have been searching places that were meaningful to her," she said. "She has friends all over the valley."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, 503-655-8211.

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