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Sarasota deputies reopen missing person investigation after tip suggests foul play

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Deputies spent more than five years searching for Patricia “Erin” Scala after her mother reported her missing in 2012.

At the time, investigators from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office interviewed “dozens of friends, associates and neighbors, as well as phone, bank and other electronic accounts,” according to a news release. Scala would be 33 years old today.

Scala’s mother, Lynn Leviscala, first reported her missing in June 2012. Deputies concluded that she couldn’t be found in October 2017.

But a recent tip has urged deputies to open the case file back up. In September, a tip from “an individual known to Scala” suggested that the missing Sarasota woman might have been killed. According to the tipster, her remains were somewhere on the propertywhere she lived in the 3900 block of Vana Drive.

The current homeowner allowed an examination of the property, but detectives found no evidence after two days. The sheriff’s office is continuing its investigation, however, and urges anyone with information to call the Criminal Investigations Section at (941) 861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers at (941) 366-TIPS (8477).

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