Details of Disappearance
Prince was last seen at her workplace, Agency for Community Treatment Services Inc., in the vicinity of the 4600 block of north 56th Street in Tampa, Florida at approximately 4:30 p.m. on December 30, 2005. She left work to go on a holiday weekend; she was planning to travel to northern Florida.
She has never been heard from again. A coworker reported her missing after Prince failed to arrive at work as scheduled.
When authorities arrived at Prince's home in the 1100 block of Moffat Place in Temple Terrace, Florida, they found the back door unlocked and Prince's white four-door 1994 Buick Park Avenue with Florida State University plates was in the garage.
The house was in "meticulous" condition and there were no signs of forced entry. The lights were turned on, there was mail in the mailbox, and Prince's cellular phone was inside the residence. At the time of her disappearance, she lived alone; she is divorced and has no children.
A few items were missing from the house: Prince's purse, some journals she kept with her gardener, a picture of her and her boyfriend, and a towel from the master bedroom. None of these things were ever located. Blood was found on Prince's garage floor, in and around the trunk of her car, and on the overhead garage door. There was evidence that the bedroom and the garage door had been cleaned recently.
An unidentified man withdrew $800 in cash from Prince's bank accounts, using ATMs, at least twice after her disappearance. He used her debit card and his image was captured on the ATM surveillance video cameras, but he kept his face hidden behind a mask.
After this information was released to the public, a witness came forward and stated he had seen the person make the withdrawals. The witness described the man as in his mid-thirties or early forties and clean-shaven, with dark brown hair. He was approximately 5'11 tall and 215 to 245 pounds.
A sketch of the individual, as well as one of the ATM camera photos of him, is posted with this case summary. He was driving a mid-sized, light-colored four-door vehicle, possibly of American manufacture. This person is considered a person of interest in Prince's case and is wanted for questioning.
At the time of her disappearance, Prince's boyfriend of five years, Earl Cranston Pippin, was the sole beneficiary of her estate and they co-owned a house on Lake Panasoffkee. He was married in 2005 and initially denied owning anything with Prince or having ever dated her.
In September 2006, authorities publicly named Pippin as a person of interest in her disappearance and stated he had been uncooperative with the investigation. He has not been charged in connection with Prince's case and maintains his innocence.
Investigators stated he was the only person who had refused to take a polygraph when asked; Pippin countered that he had passed a polygraph given by the FBI. Authorities dug up the backyard of a south Tampa house in October 2007, looking for Prince's body; the house was built by Pippin and workers poured a concrete slab there around the time she vanished.
Prince co-founded the agency she worked at; it is a substance abuse treatment agency and was one of the first in the Tampa area. She was born in Virginia and grew up in North Carolina. She is a graduate of Florida State University and Duke University, and has a master's degree in social work. She owns a dozen rental homes in Hillsborough County and Sumter County in Florida.
She is described as an intelligent and reliable person who enjoyed her privacy, and her loved ones stated it would be extremely uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning.
Although the circumstances surrounding Prince's disappearance are unclear, foul play is possible in her case.
Her mother, Dovie Hamby, died in March 2007, at the age of 93. Hamby lived in North Carolina but traveled to Florida every two months to inquire about the search for her daughter. She offered a substantial reward for Prince's return, and paid someone to maintain Prince's home.