Emily Wynell Paul’s family says that the teenager, who has been missing since April 2013, has made contact. In a Facebook post on July 26, Paul’s mother, Pam Myers Massimiani, wrote, “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 added that she was “feeling fantastic.”
Paul went missing when she was 14 years told, reports the Panama City News Herald. She would be 19 today. Paul has not yet returned home.
Anybody with any information on the disappearance of Paul is asked call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office on 850-747-4700.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Are ‘Pretty Sure’ the Letter Is Legitimate
Massimiani told News Herald that she was “pretty sure” the letter is from her teenage daughter, the Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford concurred with this view. When asked about possible further contact, Massimiani said, “The ball is in her court still… There’s a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of feelings.” Paul had done research on how to run away from home prior to her disappearance, according to her online search history.
Paul lived in Southport, Florida, 15 miles east of Panama City Beach in the northern part of the state. The Panama City News Herald article says that Paul took her Xbox with her when she left and never logged into her Facebook account after she disappeared. The last ping from Paul’s cellphone came from a tower close to her home. According to the Charley Project, Paul went by the nick name Em and left behind a three page note about her running away.
There is a Reddit thread dedicated to the search for Paul. One user wrote on the forum, “These mysteries are so harsh. Like if she did actually just run away, that poor mother must have been so distressed the last few years. I wonder what the letter said and why she didn’t just come home… Hope she’s actually alive and well.”
2. Paul’s Facebook Page Has Become a Message Board Begging the Teen to Return Home
Since Paul’s disappearance in 2013, her mother, other family members and friends have besieged the missing teen’s Facebook page with messages imploring her to make contact. The first visible message to the public came from a family friend and reads, “Hey Emily. I dont even think that you are reading this… but i didnt really even know you and we all miss you! And your mom, She is probably devastated… Come Home Em!” In June 2013, her mother wrote, “It’s me again.. we are going to start planning a trip to New York. I really want you to go with us. Love you!,, Maaoom.”
Also in June 2013, one person pointed to rumors that Paul had relocated to De Funiak Springs, 60 miles north east of Southport. According to her Facebook page, Paul was a student at Dean Bozeman Middle School. In January 2018, Massimiani wrote on Facebook, “There is so much love for you Emily. I miss you more and more and more every minute of every day. ❤️ you are my heart baby girl!” In March of this year, another family friend wrote, “Emily your mom needs you.”
3. Paul’s Mother, Pam Massimiani, Said Previously That Her Daughter Indicated She Might Return When She Was 18
In May 2017, Massimiani told Oxygen, that her daughter had indicated in a note she left after her disappearance that she would return when she’s 18. Massimiani said, “I used to feel hopeful, real hopeful. But she’s 18 now and I haven’t seen her.” When describing the day her daughter vanished, Massimiani says, “That day, I had left (the house) particularly early and she just seem like her usual Emily self. That was the last time I saw her.” In the piece, Massimiani says she was a protective mother who wouldn’t let her daughter just hang out at the mall. She added that her feeling is that her daughter didn’t run away on her own. “I believe my she may have thought she was going into something good and when she got to whatever it was, it wasn’t as good as she thought it would be. That’s my gut feeling.”
Massimiani went on saying, “We were very close. A lot of people think that because she ran away she had a problem and was angry… She wanted to go wherever I went. She always wanted to be with me.” She added that she couldn’t remember the last time there was a lead in her daughter’s case. Massimiani said, “I’m not the same person because I should have a child at home that I’m raising. This is the year we should be buying prom desses and making graduation invitations and things like that.”
4. Paul’s Mother Gave an Interview in 2016 Where She Said She Would Never Give up the Search for Her Daughter
Massimiani told the News Herald in April 2016 that every year on her daughter’s birthday, she would buy a birthday cake. She also used the day to help raise awareness for her daughter’s case saying, “We hope by doing that, a tip will lead to her discovery.” Massimiani said, “We will never give up hope. We’ll always be searching. We just want to know she is alright. We need to know she is safe.”
5. Investigators Have Followed Leads as Far Away as Spain in Paul’s Disappearance
WJHG reported in December 2015 that officers investigating the case never felt that foul play had been involved. The motorist who picked her up has never been identified. Bay County Sheriff’s Investigator Albert Willis told the station at the time, “Our main concern in this case is the complete lack of contact. It’s typically with a teen, certainly her age, a girl, you’re going to see some form of communication.” Willis added at the time that investigators had hit a brick wall, “At this point, we don’t have any active leads that are giving us any indication of being of good quality, but as far as tips go, we have followed tips around the world on this case to include Canada and Spain.”
In April 2016, NBC 15 in Madison, Wisconsin, reported that Paul may have been seen in the area. That article says that Paul left home after being picked up by someone who she knew.