After seven years of the Missing Persons case pending in a "cold case" folder, the Temple Terrace, (FL) Police Department has re-examined the case details, reclassified it as a Homicide, and increased the already-existing reward from $80,000. to $100,000. These recent announcements were publicized in a press release via media channels.
It is the hope, according to Sgt. Mike Lowell of the department's Criminal Investigations Unit, that newly-considered details and the increase in reward money will drum up leads and compel anyone with information pertaining to this cold case to come forward and provide assistance.
On January 03, 2006, Temple Terrace resident, Sandra Prince, disappeared, believably from her home in this 26,000-resident community, a suburb of Tampa. Prince, a successful and highly-esteemed social worker, an integral administrator in the Agency for Community Treatment Services, Inc. (ACTS), a substance abuse rehabilitation center Prince founded in 1975, was not heard from for several days. Neighbors of Prince, some of whom noticed the suspicious circumstances regarding Prince's garage door opened for an unusual period of time and no sightings of her, contacted Temple Terrace police to investigate their unease and concerns.
Once at Prince's house, located at 11507 Moffatt Place in Temple Terrace, police officers did not find Prince, and viewed a seemingly completely undisturbed household, including valuables openly displayed. Prince's cell phone was located in-plain-view on a countertop in her home. The home's rear door was also found unlocked.
Prince's blood was located in the trunk of her vehicle, on her garage floor, and upon the gagarge door. Missing, police say, are a bath towel, her purse, a few journals she kept, and a framed photograph which depicted both Prince and her boyfreind of five years, Earl Pippin III. Suspicions heightened.
Thus began the investigation into the whereabouts of Sanda Prince.
Shortly after her disappearance, a still-unidentified masked man made two attempts to use Prince's bank card at automated teller machines, intimated Police Chief Kenneth Albano, during the press release interviews.
A few months after Prince disappeared, Temple Terrace police solicited the assistance of the FBI. Once federal officials reviewed all of the information in the case, they concluded Prince was murdered inside her home sometime after 28 December 2005. Additionally, FBI agents concluded Prince was probably murdered by someone she knew and that the homicide was not premeditated. FBI agents intimated that they found indications of attempts by someone to clean up Prince's blood.
At one point during the investigation, police obtained a search warrant to excavate the newly-poored cement slab and surrounding soil area of a yard at a newly-constructed home built by Prince's business partner and boyfriend, Earl Pippin III, a general contractor. Temple Terrace police have had Pippin listed as a "Person of Interest" since the disappearance of Prince.
Coinciding with Prince's disappearance was a home being built by Pippin on Vasconia Street in Tampa, the concrete slab of which was allegedly poured days after Prince's disappearance on 03 January 2006. Records reflect a city inspector approved a newly-poured concrete slab at the Vasconia Street home two days after Prince was officially reported missing.
Besides a business partner, Pippin had also been an intimate partner with Prince for five years, albeit married to his wife during that period of time. Police believe Pippin's involvement in this case is based on Prince's multi-million-dollar estate to which he is allegedly listed as the sole beneficiary. Hence, Temple Terrace investigators believe his motivation is based on monetary gain, with the death of Prince enabling him to ensure significant gain.
Temple Terrace police detectives, aided by University of South Florida archaeologists and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents, twice excavated the property on Vasconia Street in Tampa, where authorities believed Prince's body or portional remains would be found. Soil samples were taken during the days of digging. Both excavations were unsuccessful for anything conclusive.
Sumter County sheriff's deputies searched property in Lake Panasoffkee several times, according to public information officer Lt. Bobby Caruthers. In January, cadaver-sniffing dogs searched Prince's property at 4746 County Road 300, yielding negative results.
Nevertheless, after a recently-convened special panel of investigators from the Temple Terrace Police, Tampa Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement were joined by anthropologists from the University of South Florida in Tampa and reviewed the cold case to-date, it was announced that cutting-edge technology not previously available has provided potential findings indicative enough to facilitate the case.
Albeit initially receptive to inquiry by Temple Terrace police detectives, Pippin has since ceased cooperating with law enforcement authorities and has retained legal representation. Via his attorney (Paul Sisco) at the time, Pippin has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Prince, and inasmuch as her estate is concerned, he asserts he has no knowledge of any such assets.
Shortly after Prince's disappearance, her 90-year-old mother, Dovie Hamby, residing in North Carolina at the time, offered a $75,000 reward for information regarding her daughter's disappearance. Moreover, before her death, Hamby left her estate to the Temple Terrace Police Department, from which the recent $100,000. reward was offered. Efforts to locate Prince and effect arrest in this case continue.
Any provisions of information regarding this cold case investigation should be furnished to the Temple Terrace Police Department at 813-989-7110.
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