Neighbors hopeful for closure as police plan "major announcement" in disappearance of Sandra Prince

Prince vanished seven years ago

TEMPLE TERRACE - UPDATE: The case has been re-launched as a murder investigation and a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

The Temple Terrace Police department announced that the reward money came from Sandra Prince's mother's estate. A portion of her estate was left to the police department.

Temple Terrace Police Chief Kenneth Albano said hoping to find the victim alive is no longer their priority.

"Any finality or accountability would be welcome by her family," he said.

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After seven long years, the mystery behind the disappearance of Sandra Prince of Temple Terrace may finally be over.

Thursday morning, Temple Terrace Police plan to make what they call a major announcement on the case.

Prince disappeared just days before we rang in the year 2006. Police found her back door unlocked and blood inside the trunk of her car.

Her body has never been found.

"We just kind of reminisce about it every holiday," said Chip Bowles, who lived two doors down from Prince.

He and his wife Debbie still have the Christmas card Prince gave them just days before she vanished. They even have the poinsettia it came with -- seven years later, it looks better than ever, growing in their backyard.

"It's always a constant reminder that she's still missing and no one knows where she is," Debbie said.

Shortly after the 59 year-old went missing, police labeled her boyfriend, Earl Pippin, as a person of interest.

Earl Pippin worked as a contractor, and at one point in 2006, police dug up a house he worked on with the hopes of finding evidence or maybe even her body.

They found nothing.

Before she disappeared, Prince was a successful woman in Tampa. More than 30 years ago, she co-founded the Agency for Community Treatment Services, a behavioral health agency.

The agency later dedicated a homeless shelter in her honor.

The Bowles are hopeful that by Thursday evening, they can put one final news clipping in the folder they've kept on their old friend over the years.

It'll be the story they've been waiting seven years for.

"It's a very unfortunate thing that has happened to her," Chip said.

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