A Florida mom whose 14-year-old left a note and then disappeared five years ago says her daughter has mailed a letter home.
“To all our friends and extended family, we want to let you know that we have heard from Emily,” Pam Massimiani wrote on Facebook about her daughter Emily Paul, who now would be 19. “We do not have any further information to share at the moment. Thank you all for your love and support you have shown for our family.”
Bay County Sheriff Chief Deputy Joel Heape tells PEOPLE in a statement: “We are still looking to confirm that is is truly Emily Paul.”
Massimiani says that while the letter’s contents suggest it’s from her daughter, she’s keeping the exact details out of the public eye for now. “I’m pretty sure it’s from her,” she told the Panama City News Herald.
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Emily’s last known contact with her family came in April 2013, when authorities and her family said she left a note stating her intentions to run away and then vanished with a packed suitcase from the family’s home in Southport.
Police logged her disappearance as a missing person’s case, and noted that she appeared to follow tips found on websites that describe steps to take for a successful runaway, the News Herald reports. Emily fled with items such as her Xbox that might have linked her to online connections, and she has never resurfaced on social media. Three pings of Emily’s cell phone in the week that followed were the last evidence of her movements.
“The ball is in her court still,” Emily’s mother said, while asking for further privacy for the family, according to the newspaper. PEOPLE could not reach the family.
“There’s a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of feelings,” Massimiani told the outlet.
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