Has Tammie Briley, missing since 2000, been found?
"If she's not my little sister then at least we can find out who this woman is, maybe she does have family out there that loves her," said Ken Briley, older brother of Tammie Jane Briley, who was last seen in 2000.
Briley is referring to a woman recently spotted in Poza Rica, Mexico, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to his sister Tammie.
"She has the exact same imprints in her teeth as my sister did 18 years ago," he said.
Tammie's son, Brad Hart, was first notified about the woman who appeared to be meandering throughout Poza Rica by Michigan State Police, who were contacted through social media regarding the similarities the woman shared with Briley.
"She had gotten into a fight years ago, and had two hooped [earrings] pulled out of her ear," Hart said of his mother. "And the woman in Mexico had scar marks where earrings had been ripped out of her ear."
Hart tells the I-Team he has been working tirelessly with several contacts in Mexico, as well as the Michigan State Police to keep the woman in Mexico safe and to obtain her DNA.
"I just encouraged them to purchase her a beverage and some snacks and then offer to throw the bottle away," he said, referencing how the DNA sample was eventually shipped to get tested.
Briley's son said the woman is currently staying in a building in Mexico that falls under the jurisdiction of the National System for Integral Family development, a social assistance center.
He also said he was allowed to see her via video conference.
"She had very little interest in finding her family or searching for her family," he said. "She seemed really confused about how she got there. ... She knew she had kids but she didn't know what their names were or how many."
According to Briley's brother, the woman in Mexico claimed to go by the name "Heather."
"Tammie always did like that name," he said.
Michigan State Police investigators say Briley was last seen in September of 2000.
Her boyfriend at the time said she demanded to get out of his car during an argument as he was driving along I-94 near Battle Creek. At the time of her disappearance, he was questioned by State Police, but Briley's body was never found, and leads were few and far between.
As for the similarities between the woman in the photo and Briley, state police Lt. Chuck Christensen said they're not ruling anything out.
"I think there are enough similarities there that we need to follow up on this lead, like we would in any lead that could be promising," he said.
The DNA results could take several months to process, but Briley's family points out that even if the woman in the photos is not Briley, the DNA will be entered in a national database for missing persons in the U.S.
The FBI, which lists Briley on its website as missing, declined WWMT's request for comment.