http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2010-11-06/womans-disappearance-remains-mysteryWoman's disappearance remains a mystery
Friends, family last saw Rebecca Ware Oct. 29
Posted: November 6, 2010 - 12:06amPhotos
By JUSTINE GRIFFIN
Friends and family members of Rebecca Ware held each other close Friday night in the front yard of her home in St. Augustine Shores.
Nearly two dozen people took turns whispering words of encouragement and prayers about their missing sister, mother, daughter, niece and friend while standing in a circle holding candles.
Ware, 34, was last seen by friends and family on Friday, Oct. 29, when she left work for the day at Hydro America at 200 Riviera Blvd., according to a St. Johns County Sheriff's report. She was reported missing by family members on Tuesday.
"Something's wrong; this just isn't like her," said Ware's aunt, Theresa Nolan. "She wouldn't just up and leave."
Deputies found Ware's car, a 2005 sea foam green Ford Focus, in the parking lot of the Publix shopping plaza on Wildwood Drive Thursday night, the report said.
Although detectives are in the very beginning stages of processing the case, Detective George Harrigan said there is no evidence of foul play at this time.
"We've taken forensic samples from the house and the car and are processing it now," Harrigan said. "It is unusual and suspicious that the family hasn't heard from her."
Nolan said Ware was planning on moving the weekend she went missing from her St. Augustine Shores home to Jacksonville to live with John Gaffney, the father of her children.
Gaffney told Nolan that Ware had been staying over at his house, but the last time he saw her was when she left for work on Oct. 29.
Her three children, twin 14-year-old sons and a 15-year-old daughter, haven't heard from their mother since Friday.
"If it wasn't for the people she worked with, we might have never known she was missing," said Ware's mother, Gladys Varnadore.
Co-workers from Hydro America, an aluminum company with a St. Augustine office where Ware has worked for the last three years, called family members when Ware didn't report to work.
"She loved her job. She worked too hard to get where she was," Nolan said. "It doesn't make sense."
Ware lived with her aunt off and on over the past years, usually staying with her when she was dealing with domestic abuse at home, Nolan said.
"She probably lived with me six months out of the year over many short stays," she said. "She has a history of domestic violence in her past relationships."
That is reason alone for Nolan to think that something might have happened to her.
"I really do think it's someone she knew," she said.
Before making the decision to move in with Gaffney, Ware was in a relationship with Timothy Johnson from Palatka.
"I met him like a month ago and he seemed like a nice guy," Nolan said. "But they all seem like nice guys at first."
Johnson allegedly told family members he last heard from Ware through text message on Oct. 30.
When Nolan and her daughter arrived at Ware's house on Tuesday, they found a purse with Ware's driver's license and ATM cards missing. Her touch screen cell phone, which was smashed in, was lying on the coffee table in her living room.
It took days for the sheriff's office to declare Ware a missing person because neighbors were unsure of the last time they saw her at home.
One neighbor told detectives Friday night that he witnessed a woman, whom he believed was Ware, arguing with a man in a car near her house on Sunday.
Karen Clarkson, another nearby neighbor, said her son saw a few men loading cars with items from Ware's house on Saturday. She said she assumed they were helping her make the move to Jacksonville.
Detectives stood on the outskirts of the circle of family members and friends outside Ware's home Friday night in support of the family. Family members wiped each other's tears and stood close together on the chilly evening.
"I'm just waiting for Becky to come home and tell us one of her crazy stories about what happened," Nolan said while grasping a white candle with both hands. "I bet she's praying for us to stay strong."
Rebecca Ann Ware
Age at time of disappearance: 34
Address: 110 block of Phoenetia Drive
Missing: Friday, Oct. 29
Description: White female, 5'10" tall, 200 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.Contact: Detectives Charles Brantley or George Harrigan at the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office (904) 824-8304.