Tiffany Sessions: New information, suspect's name to be released in case of missing UF student
9:59 AM, Feb 5, 2014
5:01 AM, Feb 6, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Authorities in Gainesville are preparing to release new information, including a suspect's name, in the case of Tiffany Sessions. The 20-year-old UF student disappeared in February 1989 while walking along a wooded area near her apartment.
According to multiple sources, including
tiffanysessions.com, the lead suspect is identified as Paul Rowles. He died in Feb. 2013 in a South Florida prison where he was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office would not confirm the reports.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday.
The search for the business student almost 25 years ago gained nationwide attention.
"To commemorate Tiffany's disappearance and release new information on the case uncovered by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Squad, the Sheriff's Office will hold a press conference to announce significant developments in the investigation, including naming a suspect in Tiffany's abduction and probable murder," according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
After she vanished, hundreds of law enforcement personnel and citizens combed the woods and swamps near Tiffany's apartment. Her face appeared on billboards and flyers around the state.
Twenty detectives have worked the case since Tiffany went missing.
Thursday's news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m.
BELOW: 2011 REPORT BY ABC ACTION NEWS REPORTER ELLEN McNAMARA
Twenty-two years ago, a University of Florida student disappeared. Tiffany Sessions went out for a walk and never came back.
Although the case is considered cold, mother Hilary Sessions says it is not closed.
"When you know this date is coming, you kind of prepare yourself," Hilary said.
Hilary has had to prepare herself for many anniversaries.
"I can't be happy cause she's not home, and I can't plan a funeral because I don't know," Hilary said.
Thinking of her bubbly beautiful daughter that she calls Tiffy, the proud mom says she has experienced just about every emotion.
"From denial, to anger, to acceptance," Hilary said.
Despite the fact that she may never see Tiffy again, Hilary says something surprising.
"I've actually forgiven the person, people that did what they did to Tiffy." Hilary said. "That was to keep me from being eaten up from the inside."
Today, Hilary reaches out to other families, like the Kesse family did. Jennifer disappeared in 2006.
"We're all members of a much larger family of missing children," said Hilary.
Since the last anniversary, there have been two searches because of tips that came into the Alachua County Sheriffs Office. Unfortunately, the searches did not turn up anything.
However, Hilary believes someone knows what happened to her daughter back in 1989 and hopes that someone will come forward.
More than anything, she just wants to know what happened to her Tiffy.