AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The family of an Augusta teen who went missing along with her stepdad wants the public to know they are not giving up hope of being reunited.

The past 11 days have been hard for the mother of 16-year-old LaTania Carwell.

“I’m not eating. I’m not sleeping. I’m just worried about my family,” said Tanya Tripp, LaTania’s mother.  “If y’all see them please call authorities and help my family get home.”

Tanya Tripp’s emotional plea comes after her daughter went missing from her south Augusta home in the wee hours of the morning on her 16th birthday, April 17. She left with her stepdad, 38-year-old Leon Tripp, to help a friend Tanya Tripp said her husband only called by his first name as they left.

“I got her because you’re sick and he said I didn’t want to bother you so I asked our daughter would she go and help me find Maurice,” Tripp said, adding that she had cancer and a few other illnesses. “He said he had a call from a friend who was stuck on the side of the road in Clarks Hill.”

Tripp said family calls her daughter by her middle name, Janell. The T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School sophomore has earned several awards for her school work and her uncle said he knows she’s a good kid, looking into the medical field.

“She knows how to cook, clean. [She is] Very well groomed. Very well spoken. She’s smart. I just believe she’s in a situation where she can’t get on the phone and call uncle, mom or some kind of relative,” Charles Carwell told us. “By now, she would have reached out or walked in the door on her own by now.”

Carwell is Tanya Tripp’s brother and he said he isn’t sold on the reason why Janell and her stepdad left.

“It’s almost as if it was premeditated because this girl goes missing on her 16th birthday. How she was brought out the house just doesn’t sit well with me.”

This story has been picked up by talk show host Michael Baisden.  The family is hoping media in the Atlanta area picks up the story too because that is where the family said the cell phones last appeared.  Tripp said her husband has family there too.

Carwell added there is a $500 reward for anyone offering information that will help bring the pair home.