‘Item of interest’ prompted additional search of home in missing person investigation, police say

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An item of interest discovered during a forensic search of a home tied to the investigation of a missing Abilene woman prompted further searching Monday, according to Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge.

Detectives from the Abilene Police Department (APD) first searched the home in the 1700 block of South 17th Street on June 21 after a tip prompted a search following up on the investigation of Patricia Ford, an Abilene woman who had been missing since September of 2016.

When Ford was first declared missing, foul play was not suspected, Chief Standridge said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Standridge also confirmed that the anonymous tip had told APD that Ford may be dead in the home, prompting a search of the home to be conducted. 

On Monday evening, investigators returned to the home to conduct further searching of the residence.

Standridge confirmed Tuesday that an “item of interest” found in the home necessitated further searching of the residence. 

Forensic teams will remain on site to search for any indication of homicide, according to Standridge. The family of the home has been relocated as the investigation carries on, and are receiving funding from United Way of Abilene. 

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