BELLE ISLE, Fla. – Volunteers began their search Friday morning for Stephanie Hollingsworth, a Belle Isle mother of three, who was reported missing last week.
Belle Isle police said Stephanie Chitwood Hollingsworth, 50, was last seen Sept. 25 at her home on Monet Avenue.
Family, friends and community members created a search command post at a shopping center along Goldenrod Road and Hoffner Avenue, the area where Stephanie Hollingsworth was last seen. Belle Isle Police are putting emphasis on the vehicle she was last seen driving, a 2000 silver Chevrolet Tahoe with Florida license plate number Y50XUR. They hope locating the van will get police closure to finding the missing mother.
“She’s got three boys. Everyone says what a loving person she is,” said Stephanie Hollingsworth’s brother, Chad Chitwood. “My sister’s lived in this community for over 10 years. All her friends are here for her.”
Chitwood drove up from Boca Raton to help in the emotional search.
Crimeline is now offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on Hollingsworth’s whereabouts.
Community members gathered in the parking lot of a shopping center off Goldenrod Road. They worked in groups, mapping out search areas. Many of them are family friends.
“I never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be driving around searching through the areas of woods. We’re in shock, but here to help as best we can,” Doug Lapointe said.
Belle Isle police said they “have received no meaningful leads and continue to use every resource available to locate Stephanie Hollingsworth.”
Belle Isle police said Stephanie last made a debit card transaction at the Bank of America at Hoffner Avenue and Goldenrod Road just before 2 p.m. Friday. Surveillance shows that she was alone, driving a 2000 silver Chevrolet Tahoe with Florida license plate numbers Y50XUR. She left her cell phone at home.
“We have not seen a trace of her since,” said Belle Isle Police Chief Laura Houston.
Houston said the department has worked with Orlando police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, using every resource they can find.
“The fact that she just vanished in thin air just doesn’t make sense. We can say with a certain degree of certainty that she is endangered at this point,” Scott Hollingsworth said of his wife.
Organizers said they plan to continue their search through the weekend from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and encourage the public to help out.
Later on Friday at 7 p.m. organizers are planning a prayer vigil for Stephanie Hollingsworth at 5030 Monet Ave., hoping for her safe return.
Scott Hollingsworth said his wife would never leave her three sons and is pleading for the public to help find her.
“Right now it’s all about finding her,” he said.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Belle Isle Police Department via the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch line at 407-836-4357 or call 911.
“That is the most important thing, that we find that truck, it can’t just disappear," Scott Hollingsworth said.
You can report any tips to Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS anonymously. Any information leading to the whereabouts of Stephanie Hollingsworth can get up to a $5,000 reward.