The car belonging to a 47-year-old Palmetto woman, who has not been seen since Tuesday, was found abandoned in Ashland, Ky., late Thursday evening, according to the Palmetto Police Department.
Tricia Freeman was reported missing Wednesday evening when her family summoned police to her home. Outside her residence, family told police officers they had been unable to contact Freeman, which they said was very unlike her. Freeman’s dogs had also been left inside the home, the family reported, which was also out of the norm.
Palmetto detectives are continuing to investigate the woman’s disappearance after learning that her car was found abandoned at a city park in Ashland, according to a news release Friday afternoon. City detectives are working with law enforcement agencies in Kentucky.
“Of course, when we found that out, we all had grave concerns for Ms. Freeman’s safety,” Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler said Friday evening. “We are hoping that there is just a good, weird story behind this and that she is going to walk in or call the Palmetto Police Department and say, ‘I’m fine.’”
While nothing suspicious was found during an inspection of Freeman’s home, according to Tyler, detectives with the Manatee County Homicide Investigative Unit were contacted and acquired a search warrant late Friday afternoon to complete a more thorough inquiry.
“We are erring on the side of precaution,” Tyler said. “We are prepared for the worst and hoping for the best.”
Once Freeman’s car was found in Kentucky, however, Tyler said he felt there were enough red flags to take the investigation further.
Just before 7 p.m., a crime scene unit arrived at Freeman’s home, and the search of the property and home began. Crime scene technicians and detectives worked into the night, taking photo and searching for clues.
Detectives have also been working on obtaining a subpoena for Freeman’s phone and bank records in an effort to track her movements and location, Tyler added.
Tyler said Freeman’s dogs had been removed from the home Friday afternoon to be cared for until she is found.
Freeman was last seen at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday by a friend, who told police the woman appeared to be OK. She did not show up for her shift Monday night at the IHOP in Sarasota where she works, however.
Anyone who may have seen Freemen is asked to call the Palmetto Police Department at 941-723-4587.