It's been seven years since a wealthy social worker and entrepreneur disappeared from her Temple Terrace home in what has become one of the Tampa Bay area's most mysterious unsolved crimes.
But police haven't given up on the case and on Thursday announced a renewed effort to find out what happened to Sandra Prince by offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Unfortunately, they don't believe they'll find her alive. In a press conference, Temple Terrace Police Chief Ken Albano said Prince's disappearance is now classified as a homicide investigation.
A new cold case investigation unit, headed by Temple Terrace police Sgt. Mike Lowell, reviewed evidence in the police investigation and collected new leads but authorities declined to talk about them in detail.
"Several investigation avenues have been presented to us," Albano said. "We intend to investigate every one of them."
Prince disappeared on Jan. 3, 2006. She was last seen by a co-worker on Dec. 28, 2005, at the Agency for Community Treatment Services Inc, or ACTS, a substance abuse rehabilitation center Prince founded in 1975.
A concerned neighbor reported Prince missing. When police officers arrived at Prince's home at 11507 Moffat Place to investigate, they found the back door of the house unlocked.
Prince, 59, was likely killed sometime between Dec. 28, 2005 and Jan. 3, 2006, police said. A significant amount of Prince's blood was found in her vehicle, Lowell said.
Shortly after her disappearance, a masked man made two attempts to use her bank card at automated teller machines, Albano said.
At the time of Prince's disappearance, Prince's boyfriend Earl Pippin III, who was a contractor, was building a home on Vasconia Street in South Tampa.
Temple Terrace police excavated the yard twice and searched under a newly-poured concrete slab at the South Tampa property in a search for evidence, but found nothing.
Pippin, who had a five-year relationship with Prince and was the sole beneficiary of her $3.6 million estate, remains a person of interest in the case. He is no longer cooperating with the investigation, Lowell said.
Police have not named any suspects or made any arrests in the case.
The reward is the highest ever offered by the Temple Terrace Police Department, Albano said.
Shortly after Prince's disappearance, her 90-year-old mother, Dovie Hamby, of North Carolina offered a $75,000 reward for information about her daughter's disappearance.
Hamby left her estate, worth about $471,000, to the Temple Terrace Police Department when she died in 2007 and after it sold recently, $100,000 was set aside for the reward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Temple Terrace Police Department at (813) 989-7110.