Good Samaritan mom goes missing while helping the homeless

A woman vanished while helping a homeless man and now her family is fearing the worst.

Kristen Whitney Ghilardi is a volunteer with a homeless outreach program organized by her church in Southern California.

Last Wednesday, she told a friend that she was taking a man named Patrick to visit his parole officer in Simi Valley.

According to Ghilardi's friend Ashley Boger, Ghilardi met Patrick at a Ventura beach in early August.

Boger told KTLA that Ghilardi "is the perfect example of thinking, 'nothing is going to happen to me.''

"I keep trying to think that, that this isn't happening, that she's going to come back," Boger told KTLA.

Ghilardi's brother, Anthony, says that his sister didn't pick her 10-year-old son up from school or daycare on August 26, even though she typically does so on Wednesdays.

"She's a mom first and foremost. She doesn't go a day without talking to her son before he goes to bed," Anthony Ghilardi told KTLA.

"For her to be … four or five days now since anyone's seen or heard from her -- that's not her.

"She wouldn't do that."

Anthony also said that losing contact with his sister is an unusual occurrence.

Ghilardi's cellphone is turned off and her voicemail box is full, according to her brother.

She was last seen driving her charcoal-gray 2006 four-door Toyota Corolla with the license plate number 5VLM990. It also has tinted rear windows and front-end damage.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Santa Clarita station at 661-225-1121.