Teen, who had vanished from home five years ago, calls to inform the police that she is 'safe and happy'
Emily Paul, who vanished five years ago at age 14, has been reported "safe" by her family. Emily ran away in 2013 and a couple of weeks ago her family received letters from someone who claimed they were Emily. After the authorities confirmed that the letters were from Emily, she contacted the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday (August 14). It is unclear if Emily, who now would be 19, has talked to her family or not but the Bay County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement that Emily contacted them in order to let everyone know that "she was safe, she had a support system and she was happy where she was." Captain Jason Daffin, of the Bay County Sheriff's Office, recalled that he got a call from a woman who claimed to be Emily.
"When I answered the phone it was a female voice, claiming to be Emily Paul. I asked the female on the phone if she could explain to me who the letters were sent to, and also about the contents of the letter," he said," as reported by WJHG-TV. Officials confirm that the woman on the phone was able to explain the contents of the letter. Jason continued, "So, at that point, I felt pretty comfortable I was speaking with Emily."
Authorities then passed the message to Emily's family and they all were relieved to hear this. Her mother, Pam Massimiani, who first shared the news about Emily's letters on Facebook commented on another friend's post and expressed her happiness. “It is the Grace of God that has sustained me through this. I give Him all the Glory Honor and Praise!" she wrote.
Melissa Parker, Emily's cousin said, "Knowing she's alive is a blessing like no other. We have spent so much time hoping and praying and dreaming and... you name it. Just knowing she's alive and she's safe and she's healthy is the most amazing news I can possibly imagine." While Emily has contacted her family just through letters, her cousin hopes that one day she will come back to them. "I'm sure that when Emily feels comfortable, she'll reach out to us and get in touch with us," she said.
Despite this, the police believe that there are still questions that are unanswered. "I can't sit here and say I'll get a good night's sleep tonight because there are things I still don't know that I would still like to know. When the time's right and she wants to talk about anything, she's got a direct line to get in touch with me," Jason said. Neither Pam nor the authorities have shared details about the letter.
Emily's last known contact with her family came in April 2013 when the 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. The police then filed a missing person report. They noted that she appeared to follow tips found on websites that describe steps to take to run away without being found.