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Missing Canonsburg woman's family hopes for break today

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By Rachel Weaver
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:44 p.m.

Family and friends of a missing Canonsburg woman hope she turns up today at a memorial service in New York City for a relative who died during the weekend.

Murphy Hickerson, 43, who disappeared April 28, was upset about her cousin's illness and expressed a desire to visit him shortly before she went missing, family said.

"This is not her at all," said Tanya Sexton, Hickerson's sister. "She is always in contact. Her and I are very close."

The Saturday that Hickerson vanished, her mother saw her before leaving for breakfast with Sexton. When the women returned a few hours later, Hickerson and her car were gone.

Now missing 11 days, police have no leads or evidence indicating where Hickerson went, said Sgt. Don Cross of Canonsburg police. Police have been unable to locate her car, a 2009 Honda CR-V with the Pennsylvania license plate HDZ 1217. The mailbox of her cellphone is full, rendering it untraceable.

"There is family going (to the memorial) from Canonsburg, and they will report to us if she arrives up there," Cross said.

A Type 1 diabetic since age 4, Hickerson underwent kidney and pancreas transplants at UPMC Montefiore in March 2011. Because there's a chance she does not have access to anti-rejection medications, Canonsburg police labeled her an endangered missing person.

Hickerson did not pick up a prescription from the pharmacy she uses on May 1, Cross said. Nor did she use an airline ticket for a trip to California she planned last week to visit friends.

Someone booked a trip to Chicago for Hickerson for the same day as the California trip, Cross said, but that ticket went unused. Police have not determined when that trip was booked or the method of payment. She has not accessed her regular Social Security disability payment or bank account.

Police obtained surveillance tape that showed Hickerson buying supplies for cats at the Canonsburg Shop N' Save about noon April 28. Family members found no sign of those purchases in the house when they returned, Cross said. Hickerson had two cats and fed stray cats in the neighborhood, he said.

Sexton said it does not appear Hickerson packed any bags. She left behind her iPad and MacBook.

"We're not ruling anything out, because things just don't match up," Sexton said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington County 911 center tip line at 724-229-4600.

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