In the seven years since she was reported missing friends of Sandra Prince say her memory hasn't faded. They still celebrate her birthdays and milestones as if she were still here.
"She held the admiration of all who knew her and at 59 years old, she still had so much more to give," said Patrick Carney.
Her disappearance was considered a missing persons case, until now. Following a thorough review by a special cold case team, Temple Terrace Police are officially calling it a murder investigation. Past evidence and new forensic technology are providing new leads.
"All we lack is that one final slide, that one bit of information," said Temple Terrace Police Chief Kenneth Albano.
Prince worked at the Agency for Community Treatment Services when she died in 2006. Her boyfriend at the time, Earl C. Pippin III, is considered a person of interest in the case, but has never been charged. Police say he's since stopped cooperating. He's denied involvement, however, even taking a lie detector test, according to his attorney.
"The polygraph you may have heard of that Mr. Pippin passed was not conducted by or on behalf of any law enforcement agency," Albano said.
Shortly after her murder, police say a masked man used Prince's ATM card three times, and blood was also found in the trunk of her car.
They have yet to recover her body. At one point, crews dug under a South Tampa home Pippin was building, but didn't find any remains.
Friends hope a new, $100,000 reward will stir up the missing puzzle pieces.
"Seven years is a long time and people's circumstances change," said close friend Linda Thompson, who had a message for anyone with information:
"Find it in your heart to do what is right."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?