THE family of a missing Pietermaritzburg mother-of-one are desperately seeking help to locate her and praying that she will return home safe and unharmed.Derisha Pather (28) left her Athlone home during the early hours of January 4 wearing her pyjamas and carrying a backpack with a few items of clothing and her laptop. She disappeared in her mother’s silver Ford Focus.Distraught mother Ravathee Pather (46) of Clifton Road, Athlone, said she was baffled by her daughter’s disappearance.“We had a wonderful festive season and there was nothing bothering her, there were no arguments or disagreements or anything of that sort that would have led her to leave home in such a manner,” said Pather. She said she discovered her daughter, who has a seven-year-old daughter, was missing at about 7 am on January 4 when she saw her car was not parked in the usual spot. “I saw the car was not there and assumed my son was using it. But then my son was at home. So we called out for her and when we couldn’t find her we checked out cameras to see that she left home at about 1 am on January 4 wearing her pyjamas and carrying a backpack with her laptop,” said Pather.She said Derisha, who worked in the family engineering business, had left without taking her cellphone or any other belongings.“We just cannot understand why she left in the manner that she did. She didn’t take any money with her and my bank cards were in that car and she hasn’t used them, neither did she take her cellphone,” said Pather.She said they had spent the past few days searching around La Lucia, Durban North and Umhlanga after she was spotted driving in the area but with no success. “We’ve been searching in Durban and the surrounding areas from Saturday morning and only returned on Monday morning but there has been no success. “We just want her to know that we want her back home and that she won’t be in trouble for leaving. Her daughter needs her and we need her,” said Pather.She said they had enlisted the help of a private security company that was working closely with police to find her.“I’m hopeful that we will find her but as the days go by I am feeling really scared for her safety. This is so unlike her. She is a reserved, timid person and I just pray she is safe,” said Pather.Anyone with information on Derisha’s whereabouts should contact her mother Ravathee Pather on 083 706 9141 or the police on 10111.