Christmas without a loved one is always difficult, but for Celine Ethier, the mother of Melanie, it’s particularly hard.

It’s been 23 years since the 15-year-old girl disappeared without a trace while walking home from a friend’s house in New Liskeard.

Today is Melanie’s birthday.

“As this year draws to a close, and Melanie’s birthday on Christmas Day approaches, I need to let you all know that I am exhausted, both physically and mentally,” Celine writes on her Facebook page.

She has received hundreds of tips and done numerous searches, trying to find her daughter in the 24 years since Melanie’s disappearance.

“Unfortunately, I am in the same place as I was on September 29, 1996, still wondering where my precious child is. I need to sit in my silence for a while and I need to regroup and I need to breathe for just a short time. The dead ends, the endless hours of searching and the hopelessness has left me completely drained.”