‘There is always something to look forward to, you just need to open your eyes a bit more and dream.’
Sarah Wellgreen sent that text to an old friend in October last year, arranging to meet up the following week.
She vanished hours later and the mother-of-five has never been seen since.
Her former partner Ben Lacomba has now been convicted of killing her in a calculated crime that he sought to cover up at every turn.
Ms Wellgreen was leading ‘a happy life with much to look forward to’, the jury at London's Woolwich Crown Court was told.
The 46-year-old beautician met Lacomba online in 2004 but by the time of the alleged murder their relationship was marked by ‘tensions and problems’.
They had split up but were still living under the same roof and it ‘appears that potential loss of that family home, that property, and his children motivated his actions’, the prosecution said.
Ms Wellgreen had sought treatment for depression but she was in good spirits and was planning for the future.
She wanted to buy Lacomba out of the family home and was working on getting a mortgage. She lived in Kent but also worked in Portsmouth.
On October 9, 2018, the last day she was seen alive, she began the day by going on the school run.
She had sent an email accepting a new job that would give her a significant pay rise, something Lacomba knew about.
During the day Ms Wellgreen carried out beauty therapy treatments for private clients, who described her as being in a ‘friendly and chatty’ mood.
One of the last contacts anyone had with her was a goodnight message she sent to an old friend, in which they had arranged to meet a week later.
It read: ‘There is always something to look forward to, you just need to open your eyes a bit more and dream.’
Despite Lacomba being convicted of killing her and facing years behind bars, their children still do not know where their mother is.
More than a year later, and despite thousands of hours spent searching by police and members of the community, her body has never been found.