Family says they have received letter from teen daughter who disappeared five years ago

Police released this photo of then 14-year-old Emily Paul. (Photo: Bay County Sheriff’s Office)

When she was 14 years old, Emily Wynell Paul of Panama City, Fla., went missing. Now, five years after her disappearance, her mother, Pam Massimiani, says that she has received a letter from her daughter. 

Massimiani shared on Facebook that she had heard from her now-19-year-old for the first time since Emily packed some clothing and vanished in April 2013, according to the Panama City News Herald. Emily left behind a note stating her intentions of running away.

Wrote Massimiani in her post, “To all our friends and extended family, we want to let you know that we have heard from Emily. We do not have any further information to share at the moment. Thank you all for your support and love you have shown to our family.”

According to, during an interview conducted three years ago with News 13, a Bay County Sheriff’s investigator said that Paul had told her parents in the note she had left when she disappeared that she might contact them after she turned 18.

Massimiani has not yet revealed the contents of the new letter, but she told the News Herald, “I’m pretty sure it’s from her.” Sheriff Tommy Ford also said he felt “pretty good” that the letter is from Paul.

Massimiani said that for now, it is up to her daughter if she will return home or contact her family again.

It is believed that Paul researched how to be a successful runaway online. Her cellphone pinged only three times in the week after she left home, and she brought her Xbox with her, which she may have used for online communication. Her Facebook account has not been active since her disappearance.

Many reddit users are chiming in on the case.

One user wrote, “These mysteries are so harsh. Like if she did actually just run away, that poor mother must have been so stressed the last few years. I wonder what the letter said and why she didnt just come home. … Hope shes actually alive and well.”

Another wrote, “Can they finger print the letter? Can they analyze it against any old school work? Can they trace it back to the original post office?”

One Redditor shared a theory about her taking her gaming console: “Another possibility for her leaving home could be she was being groomed. Could be she was connecting with someone on Xbox hence why she took the Xbox with her, at her ‘loves’ insistence thinking this way he/she couldn’t be traced.”

Pam Massimiani did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.