Dedrick Smith, 26, disappeared from Winston-Salem in October 2006.
Smith suffers from a mental illness and is in need of medication. Police and family continue to search for answers in his case.
His mother, Deborah Smith, wonders every day what happened to her son.
"A mother without her child – there's just no words to explain it. I'm constantly looking for him every day," she said. "If I see someone that kind of favors him, I found myself staring at that person."
On Oct. 3, 2006, Dedrick Smith left his family's home driving his turquoise 1993 Pontiac Grand Am with North Carolina license plates NYB-3645.
"That evening he called me at work. He told me he was OK. I said, 'I'll see you when I get home,'" Deborah Smith said. "Like I say, he called that night to say goodnight and the following morning he didn't come home."
No one has seen or heard from him since. The family doesn't think he ran away.
"For Dedrick to have been gone all of this time, we know this is not something that he would do," Belinda Smith, his aunt, said.
Because of Smith's mental illness, his family says they aren't sure why he never came back.
"Dedrick would just not walk away, so I feel like maybe he's confused, don't know who he is, don't know where he is," Deborah Smith said. "He would just not walk away. That's just not him."
Authorities say there aren't many clues about what happened. But they said they haven't stopped searching for him.
"We have knocked on doors, we have been through neighborhoods, passed out fliers. We begged for assistance," Belinda Smith said.
Family members say Dedrick Smith is a loving, churchgoing young man and that brothers, nieces and nephews all looked up to him.
"It's just devastating. That's the only thing I could say. Just devastating, heartbreaking to not know where your child is," his mother said.