NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Sarasota mother still searching for answers in daughters' 2012 disappearance

Posted at 10:04 PM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 23:12:42-05

SARASOTA, Fla. — On May 22, 2012, Patricia “Erin” Scala, 27, vanished without a trace. More than six years later her mother isn’t giving up hope they will find her.

“I just want closure the whole family wants closure,” Lynn Scala said.

Scala doesn’t run through the “what if” scenarios about where her daughter could be. She believes in the power of prayer and staying positive.

“Of course you always hold onto hope,” Scala said. “I never let go of hope.”

Sarasota County investigated the case after receiving a missing person’s report from Erin’s mom.

“Detectives conducted a thorough missing person investigation from 2012 through October 2017, interviewing dozens of friends, associates, and neighbors as well as phone, bank and other electronic accounts associated with Scala. She was ultimately unable to be located,” investigators said.

A few months ago investigators got a tip in the case.

“In September 2018, detectives received information from an individual known to Scala that she may have been the victim of homicide and that her remains were located on the property of 3963 Vana Drive. Detectives worked cooperatively with the homeowner who allowed an examination of the property. After two days at the Vana Drive residence, personnel were unable to locate any evidence related to this case,” the sheriff’s office posted on their social media account.

Scala said that address is where her daughter used to live with her boyfriend.

She doesn’t want to speculate on what happened. But, wishes back in 2012 when her daughter first went missing she was more aggressive.

“It was just we all trusted that everybody was on the up and up and there wasn’t any foul play and maybe they could’ve done more research just in case. In the beginning that wasn’t done,” Scala said.

In 2017, Scala said a local non-profit that works to track down missing people profiled her daughter.  Despite the work of the CUE Center for Missing Persons, no solid leads came in.

Scala said the family believes someone has information about what happened to her daughter.

“I just want closure the whole family wants closure,” Scala said.

Detectives are continuing their efforts to glean more information regarding Scala’s whereabouts. Scala would be 33-years-old today. Anyone with information related to her disappearance is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers of Sarasota by calling 941.366.TIPS (8477), or online at