York Regional Police are hoping a larger reward and a deadline will entice those with information about a Richmond Hill woman’s disappearance to come forward.

At a news conference Monday, police said the York Police Services Board is increasing the reward from $20,000 to $50,000 for information that helps solve the case of Cheryl Rowe’s disappearance.

“We have received numerous Crime Stoppers tips that have helped us identify people who were with Cheryl Rowe the evening of her disappearance,” Det. Bob Papineau said. “We also know that there’s a core group of people that have that direct knowledge about the circumstances of her disappearance.”

Rowe disappeared just after midnight on Dec. 22, 2011. The 45-year-old mom was picked up from her brother’s house to go visit friends and was last seen as last seen on Rathfon Crescent in the Yonge Street and Carrville Road area.

Police searched for Rowe in a wooded area near Bayview Avenue and Elgin Mills Road at the time of her disappearance and again several months later in warmer weather, but found no trace of her.

Papineau said Monday police believe Rowe met with foul play.

“We are confident we are on the right track in terms of the people we believe are involved in her disappearance,” he said.

However those believed to have knowledge about the circumstances of her disappearance have so far refused to hand over key pieces of information.

“People have been truthful with us up to a certain point but they’re reluctant to give us those final clues for their reasons,” Papineau said. “We are hoping this reward will entice them to help us.”

The reward offer will be in effect until Jan. 24, 2014 and will not be renewed.

Papineau added the people who know more about Rowe’s disappearance are longtime friends of Rowe’s, people she was with the night she disappeared.

Speaking at the news conference Monday, the woman’s family said the ordeal of her disappearance has been difficult.

“It’s been a long time. It’s been a roller coaster ride to try and figure out what happened to her,” said Joe Rowe, Cheryl Rowe’s brother. “We know people out there that are friends of Cheryl ‘s that know information about what happened to her that night. We’d appreciate it if they would at least come forward to help give us closure to find out where our sister is and what happened to her.”

Standing about five feet tall, Rowe is described as weighing 125 pounds with short, dark-brown hair and brown eyes. When last seen, she was wearing dark-coloured jeans, a light-blue two-toned jacket, purple Adidas running shoes and a white baseball cap with a green leaf on the front.

Police say anyone with information about Rowe’s whereabouts or those responsible for her disappearance may be eligible for the $50,000 reward and are urged to contact the Homicide Unit at 866-876-5423, ext. 7865.

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