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Reward raised for Buna woman Cristi Ruso, missing since October 2021

Anyone with information can call the Jasper County Sheriff's Office at (409) 994-4778 with any info on her whereabouts.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The family of Cristi Ruso says they're doubling down their efforts to find her and they need help from the public.

The reward leading to the discovery of Ruso has now been raised to $5,000, according to her family.

It's been five months since the Buna woman disappeared.

Ruso, 31, was last seen around 4 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2021, at the 1800 block of Country Road 777 in Buna, according to the Jasper County Sheriff's Office. That is about 1.5 miles away from Business Highway 96.

RELATED: Jasper, Hardin county officials still searching for woman missing since October of 2021

Ruso’s aunt and a close friend said they're staying hopeful the mother of two is found safe and sound soon.

Ruso’s family said they've spent countless hours searching for their loved one since she went missing last October. And now they just want closure.

"It hurts because we don't have her and somebody done something to her we don't know what," said Ruso’s aunt Debbie Wilson.

Wilson said she and her family never thought one of their own would disappear.

She said it's been a difficult past four months, and at times she's questioned whether she and the rest of her family could've done more.

"I didn't know the last day, on the 21st when I picked her up that that would be the last day that I would ever see her again," Wilson said.

Wilson said she and her family have searched various areas in Hardin and Jasper County where people have claimed to have seen Ruso.

In February, she said they found a sleeping bag, pillow, and brown jacket, but it's unclear if those items belonged to Ruso.

She said someone even claimed to have seen her niece recently in Silsbee.

"We went over there one time, and it wasn't her,” Wilson said. “There's a girl there that looks like her. She's a little bit taller than Cristi. I don't know if that's who they're seeing."

Wilson said they've put up flyers with Ruso’s picture around Buna, Silsbee, Evadale, and Vidor, but have noticed some have been taken down.

She was pretty upset at first, but lately, she and the family are focused on finding Ruso more than anything else.

"We want to bring her home. And I think somebody out there knows and I pray that they will just call Jason and tell him," Wilson said.

Captain Jason McClellan with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office is actively investigating Ruso’s disappearance.

Wilson said she's been in close contact with McClellan as they try to find Ruso, and she said they're hopeful an upcoming search with cadaver dogs will lead them closer to her niece.

In the meantime, she's asking Southeast Texans to use their eyes and ears to help find Ruso.

"We do appreciate all the prayers that people, you know...and it makes me feel good that you do have people out there that want to help," Wilson said.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office said they're still looking into Ruso's disappearance and they encourage the public to call (409) 994-4778 with any info on Ruso's whereabouts.

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