NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A woman living in Newark, New Jersey left her job in Westchester County on Monday night, but never returned home.

CBS2’s Brian Conybeare met Carla Cerquiera handing out flyers at Newark Penn Station, desperately searching for her longtime family friend Neuza Diniz.

“I worry for her safety. I want her to be OK,” she said.

Holding back tears, Cerquiera described the hardworking 68-year-old Brazilian immigrant as a second mom.

Diniz was on her way home to Newark when she disappeared Monday night.

“She was an older woman, alone late at night in the train station, walking with a duffel bag,” Cerquiera said.

Diniz who speaks almost no English is very punctual, working for more than a decade as a housekeeper for several families in northern Westchester County. She would often stay there for days at a time, Conybeare reported.


(Neuza Diniz, 68, left work in Westchester County on Monday night, but never returned home to Newark, New Jersey.)

“She’s absolutely lovely and seemed to be in fairly good health,” Bedford resident Roseann Rutherford said.

Rutherford was the last person to see Diniz when she dropped her off at the Metro-North train station in Katonah.

“Maybe, god forbid, she was mugged and her purse was taken away from her. You know I have to think that for some reason or another she just doesn’t know where she is,” Rutherford said.

Diniz was supposed to catch the 6:24 p.m. train to Grand Central Station but it’s not clear if she did.

One clue investigators do have is that she made a call from her cellphone at 6:30 p.m. But the question is: Was she on the train or somewhere else?

Metro-North Police confirmed they are looking at surveillance video to see if she ever got off the train at Grand Central or made it to the Path train at Penn Station.

“Part of me wants to think that she’s just taking a day off and taking a vacation, but I know that’s not true. So we’re really just trying to get her safely home,” Cerquiera said.

Four police department from New York and New Jersey are working to find the woman, and her son is flying in from Brazil to help with the search.