Emily Wynell Paul’s family says that the teenager, who has been missing since April 2013.
A Florida mother says she received a letter from her missing daughter, five years after the teen ran away from home and disappeared without a trace.
Emily Wynell Paul packed a large suitcase with some clothes and her Xbox when she fled her mother’s Southport, Florida home in April 2013 at the age of 14. Investigators believe Emily wheeled the suitcase to a nearby road where she was picked up by a motorist.
She left behind a note expressing her intention to run away, saying she was going to a safe location and she may return when she turned 18. That landmark came last year, but her mother still hadn’t heard from her.
That is until last week, when Pam Massimiani received a letter from a person claiming to be their long-lost Emily, who would be 19 years old today.
Emily’s overjoyed mother shared the happy news to her friends and family on Facebook last Thursday.
“To all our friends and extended family, we want to let you know that we have heard from Emily. We do not have any further information to share at the moment. Thank you all for your support and love you have shown to our family,” Massimiani wrote.
Her mother would not release details of the letter they received, but say its contents convince her that it’s really from Emily.
“I’m pretty sure it’s from her,” her mother told the Panama City News Herald .
Massimiani says she hopes to hear more from her daughter soon.
“The ball is in her court still … there’s a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of feelings,” she said.
INSIDER reached out to Massimiani for further comment, and she said that she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support she has received in the days since revealing the letter.
“The support has been fabulous. Facebook messenger, texting, Facebook posting has been blowing up my phone! But all the love and prayers are appreciated,” Massimiani, who suffered a quadruple bypass in March, told INSIDER.
In 2015, Massimiani spoke to local outlet WJHG , saying she was shocked when her daughter ran away because she thought they had a great relationship.
She recalled one touching moment in the week before her daughter left home.
“We were just our usual selves, we hugged in the kitchen Saturday night, rocked back and forth. There were no clues,” she said.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford added that he is aware of the letter and feels “pretty good” the message is from missing Emily.
Investigators told MyPanhandle.com three years ago that Emily researched how to successfully run away. After she left home, she never logged back into her Facebook and only powered on her phone just three times in the week after she ran away. They didn’t suspect foul play since she left with a suitcase.
Currently, investigators are trying to authenticate the most recent letter from Emily.