ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - In the search for a missing St. Johns County mother, Rebecca Ware, each day becomes more crucial than the last. Detectives said Friday night they suspect foul play and that they have identified a person of interest in the case.
Ware, 34, of St. Augustine Shores, was last seen at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 29 when she left her workplace, Hydro America at 200 Riviera Blvd.
The mother of three was reported missing by family members last Tuesday after she didn't show up for work for two days. Her vehicle, a 2005 Ford Focus, was located Thursday evening by detectives in the parking lot of the Wildwood Publix, which is a short distance from her home.
In a statement issued Friday night, detectives said they would not publicly identify the person of interest at this time or say what pieces of new information or physical evidence prompted them classify Ware as missing, endangered.
Ware's employer, Hydro America, is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individuals who may be responsible for her disappearance.
St. Johns County investigators have worked four cases of missing women this year. The first two, Brittany Tavar and Jan Keller, were killed. The case of Shannon Hawkins, who disappeared in July, is still unsolved.
"We've had some similar cases in the past, a couple of which have turned out tragic," Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said of the recent missing women investigations. "So time is always of the essence in missing persons case."
Like Tavar's disappearance, investigators have deemed Ware's vanishing suspicious.
"Her job called my sister, which got things rolling. Nobody has heard from her," said Margaret Spergon, Ware's aunt. "I know how she feels about her job. She would not jeopardize that whatsoever."
That's similar to how Keller, an elementary school teacher, was first reported missing.
Ware's family said she has been the victim of domestic violence multiple times with multiple abusers.
"I really don't know (what happened). I just want her to come home. I want her to be safe," Spergon said.
Detectives, evidence technicians and police dogs have all been employed in the search. The Sheriff's Office said it has some leads but doesn't want to discuss them yet and risk jeopardizing the case.
"The detectives are, of course, working any information that's coming in, and at this point, we don't know where that may lead us, but detectives are diligently working this case," Mulligan said.
Ware is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 160 pounds with blue eyes and dark brown hair with blond highlights.
Anyone who may have come in contact with Ware since she disappeared or who may have additional information concerning her whereabouts should contact Crime Stoppers 888-277-8477 or the St. Johns County robbery/homicide section at 904-824-8304.
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