CLEVELAND — It has been more than five years since Amanda Dean was reported missing in Huron County.
As their search for answers in the case continues, members of her family joined a press conference Wednesday morning at the Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults to share details of the situation with hopes of bringing her home.
NOTE: Watch the video above as 3News' Emma Henderson details the latest updates.
“She’s a family person. I just want her home," Dean's mom, Caroline Tokar, said during the press conference. "This is out of character for Amanda. She’s never gone hardly any time without a phone call, without communication of some sort with her family. I love her. Love you, Amanda. I hope you’ll come home soon and meet the new additions to the family.”
Officials connected with the press conference say "her disappearance is under unusual circumstances where the family was initially told by law enforcement that she was at a safe house and not missing. However, as time has passed, the family still has no answers and is seeking help in locating their loved one. Amanda was the victim of domestic abuse and has been missing since July 2017.”
Her sister, Shannon Dean, who also spoke at the press conference, said this is not her character to lose contact with family.
“She would not leave her family. She would not. ... Amanda, if you can hear me, I love you. I know you would want to come home. I have faith that you will come home.”
Her son, Joshua, said he just wants his mom back.
"She really was my best friend. It sucks. I just wish she’d come home. I just want to see her, hang out with her, have fun again like we used to. It’s been five and a half years now. I’ve grown up. Last time I saw her I was still in high school. I’m 24 now. I have two kids of my own. She doesn’t even know that. It’s difficult. It really is.”
3News talked with Huron County Sheriff Todd Corbin about the case back in March of 2020. He said it was initially treated as a missing persons investigation, but that changed after he talked to a domestic violence shelter and learned she was living there.
“They explained to me the protocols that they have in place that ‘we don’t normally relay that information, but for the purposes of what you’re doing we’re just going to say that she is fine. She is in a good place. She is OK. She is being cared for.’”
Tokar previously told 3News she doesn’t believe her daughter would go this long without contacting her family – including her children.
“It’s at her discretion whether or not she wants to contact her family,” Sheriff Corbin said in our 2020 interview.
Tokar said Wednesday the idea that her daughter had been living in a safe house was something that she "kept believing."
“When Sheriff Corbin told me that she was in a safe house, as a mother you want to believe that."
You can watch our previous coverage of the case in the video below:
Tokar said they returned to Sheriff Corbin’s office two and a half weeks ago to follow up and file a missing persons report in the case.
“We were denied," Tokar said. "They said we had to prove that she was in danger. I had told the deputy that my daughter has been missing five and a half years. That’s danger enough to me. I’m her mother, I feel she’s in danger. We were still denied because we couldn’t prove she was in danger.”
During the press conference, Tokar also discussed how the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now reviewing the case. It comes after Tokar said her family filed a letter demanding proof of life from the sheriff's office.
“They [BCI] have to start from the beginning because, basically, there was no investigation previously," Tokar said. "The missing persons report was canceled within 24 hours back five and a half years ago. So there was really no case opened. … I think we’ve got a good team we’re working with right now. … I hope they bring us answers.”