Family, volunteers continue to search southwest Houston for any sign of Erica Hernandez

It's been exactly a week since three Houston children, including a 3-year-old, last saw their mother.

The family of Erica Hernandez spent the day in southwest Houston searching for any sign of the 40-year-old woman. Her family and investigators also have not seen found any of her belongings including her car.

"We're right here on the corner of 288 and Reed at the Valero gas station," said Rafael Hernandez, Erica's brother. "We're going to search the Reed road area. This is her way home."

Her family was joined by more than 20 volunteers including members of Equusearch and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

"I know she's somewhere but we have to hang on to hope that, one, that she's alive, and, two, that people in the community will speak up," said Ashley Hernandez, Erica's sister. 

Erica was last seen on April 17 after spending the day cooking with friends.

RELATED: Houston Police unsure if foul play involved in disappearance of Erica Hernandez

Rafael is sharing a Ring camera image of Erica as she was leaving his house after dropping off food.

Next, they say, she went to drop off food at her best friend's house on Benning Road. She reportedly left there and headed home, but never made it.

"I'm pretty sure if somebody took my sister, she didn't go willingly," added Ashley. "I'm just hoping that if somebody heard screaming or yelling or a plea for help, just please just have the courage to say something."

Houston Police say she was last seen by someone known to her near Fort Bend Parkway Tollway and FM 2234.

"This is all out of the blue. We are a pretty close family. We talk to each other a lot. We talk to each other often," Ashley noted. "She has never expressed anything, like any kind of danger that she was in. That's why we have nowhere to start from." 

Erica's siblings are struggling with how to tell her three-year-old son they don't know when his mom will be back. 

Erica is a mother of 3 -- the family is struggling with how to tell her youngest, a 3-year-old boy, they don't know when she'll be back.

"This is mother, a sister, an aunt. She's a best friend to people. It could be you. It could be you. You would want people to find you. We just need your help. Please help us," Ashley pleaded. 

"It's hard to go to sleep at night because every time you go to sleep thoughts start going through your mind. Did I miss something? Was there something more that I could have done?" Rafael wondered.

Erica was wearing a teal v-neck t-shirt, jeans, and teal/black tennis shoes at the time of her disappearance.

She has waist-length, dark brown hair with highlights, a nose piercing on the right side, wears glasses, and has three koala bears tattooed on her left shoulder blade.

Erica was driving a black, 2020 GMC Acadia with Texas license plates MKJ-3303 and a decal that reads "Aggie Mom" within an outline of the State of Texas.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Houston Police Department at (832) 394-1840 or call Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.