By Ken MacLeod

JAMAICA PLAIN (CBS) – Boston police have stepped up the search for a young private investigator who suddenly disappeared last week.

An outdoor cafe on Centre Street became a staging ground Tuesday night for a mission that none of these folks thought they’d ever face.

“These things do happen, but you never think they’re going to happen to you or anyone that you know,” said Gretchen Carey.

Carey is talking about the disappearance of 28-year-old Amber Devoe, who is now missing along with her black 2007 Chrysler just four months after moving here from Michigan and taking a unique job.

“She’s a private investigator, and that really concerns us that that might have something to do with it,” said Kathy Seaman.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.

Amber was last seen last Tuesday night sitting on the back porch of her triple-decker in JP. Her mom said Amber’s phone records indicate she hasn’t called or texted anyone since.

But these friends, many of them softball teammates on the “Bad News Babes” didn’t add things up until Sunday when Amber didn’t show for a game.

“None of us had heard from her and she didn’t show up for softball, and that was kind of our tipping factor,” said Carey.

On Tuesday night, a couple dozen volunteers mapped their routes and hit the sidewalks of JP, Roslindale, West Roxbury, and the South End armed with fliers for poles, store windows, and walls.

Amber’s mom is now driving to Boston from Michigan to join in the search.

“You just don’t even what to think or how to feel, actually. You’re kind of numb,” said Rhonda Dirette, Amber’s mom.

Amber has a faux-hawk hairstyle, shaved on the sides.

She likes baggy clothing and a has a distinct Michigan accent.

She also has an 8-year-old daughter who’s been living with relatives in Michigan, but who was supposed to move here eventually when her mom got settled.

Police said Amber’s workplace didn’t get suspicious because she usually works for days at a time in the field investigating insurance claims.

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