New Details About Emily Paul, The Teen Who Vanished From Her Home Five Years Ago At Age 14 And Was Just Found Safe

Photo: Facebook
What Happened To Emily Paul? Details Florida Teen Missing Five Years Found Safe

Emily Paul, who packed a bag and fled her Florida home five years ago, was confirmed safe after reaching out to police on her own.

Emily was 14 years old when she ran away from home in April of 2013, leaving only a note to her parents explaining that she left, the Panama City News Herald reports. Investigators believe that Emily followed tips for running away that she found online.

The now-19-year-old walked into a police department and “stated that she was safe, she had a support system and she was happy where she was,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. It is unclear if Emily has spoken with her family.

"Knowing she's alive is a blessing like no other," Emily's cousin, Melissa Parker, told WJHG. "We have spent so much time hoping and praying and dreaming and... you name it. Just knowing she's alive and she's safe and she's healthy is the most amazing news I can possibly imagine."

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Last month, the teen's mother, Pam Massimiani, stated on social media that she had received a letter from Emily but kept the contents of the mail private.

"To all our friends and extended family, we want to let you know that we have heard from Emily," Massimiani posted on Facebook last month." 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."

“I’m pretty sure it’s from her,” Massimiani told the Panama City News Herald at the time. “There’s a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of feelings."

 

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She notified the BCSO of the letters and Captain Jason Daffin quickly responded to the news with a video asking Emily to confirm she is safe.

“Earlier this month, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office was notified that family members of Emily Paul had received letters in the mail from her,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Tuesday. “In response to this, Captain Jason Daffin posted a video on Facebook, requesting Emily reach out to law enforcement so that her safety could be ensured and we could ultimately close out her missing person case.”

On Monday, a woman who claimed to be Emily called the sheriff's office. Law enforcement told the woman to come into a police station to verify her identity “and (so) we could ensure the call was not being made under duress,” according to police.

“Approximately 30 minutes later, a second phone call came into the Bay County Sheriff’s Office from a police department, stating they had a female in their lobby, saying she was Emily Paul. At that time, we requested photographs be taken and asked that they collect other proof of her identity. An investigator with that agency spoke with Emily, one on one, for a period of time."

 

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"Emily stated that she was safe, she had a support system and she was happy where she was. She appeared to be in good health and she had arrived at the police station by herself and left by herself.”

Police confirmed that the woman was, in fact, Emily and the missing persons case has since been closed. Per Emily's request, her location has been kept private, although Daffin said she was no longer in Florida. 

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"I'm sure that when Emily feels comfortable, she'll reach out to us and get in touch with us," Parker said.

Daffin said there are many unanswered questions even though Emily is safe.

"I can't sit here and say I'll get a good night's sleep tonight because there's things I still don't know that I would still like to know," he told WJHG. "When the time's right and she wants to talk about anything, she's got a direct line to get in touch with me."

The family is relieved that Emily is safe after all these years and asked for privacy as they deal with the news.

"It is the Grace of God that has sustained me through this. I give Him all the Glory Honor and Praise!" Massimiani wrote on Facebook. 

 

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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She has a degree in journalism and writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.