$100,000 Reward Hoped to End Prince Murder Mystery
The reward being offered in the Sandra Prince homicide is the largest the Temple Terrace Police Department has ever offered in a criminal investigation.
Patrick Carney met Sandra Prince while they were both studying at Florida State University.
They remained friends after college, even though they went their separate ways. Carney lived in Venice. Prince lived in Temple Terrace and helped start ACTS, a substance abuse rehabilitation center.
“(She was) a truly devoted professional, and mostly a private person in her leisure time,” Carney said. “She was a quiet and sedate personality.”
Prince disappeared around New Year’s Day in 2006. The 59-year-old was reported missing Jan. 3, 2006, by a neighbor.
Seven years later, the Temple Terrace Police Department has classified Prince’s disappearance as a murder investigation and is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her murder. Police Chief Ken Albano made the announcement Thursday at City Hall.
The reward is the largest the Temple Terrace Police Department has ever offered for a criminal investigation, and police said they’re hoping it will encourage someone with information to step forward.
“No one should possess the power to simply snuff out another’s life with no immunity to their actions,” Albano said.
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During the news conference, Carney commented on behalf of Prince’s friends and family.
“The best hopes for a good outcome faded long ago, and now any finality or accountability would be welcomed by her friends and family,” Carney said. “Sandra deserves peace, and this community deserves the opportunity to account for its own.”
Albano said investigators think Prince was murdered sometime between Dec. 28, 2005, and Jan. 3, 2006.
After she was reported missing, police found the back door of her house unlocked, according to a City of Temple Terrace press release. They also discovered a “significant” amount of Prince’s blood in her car.
During the early stages of the investigation, police named Earl Pippin III, Prince’s boyfriend of five years, as a person of interest in the case. Pippin now lives in the Lake Panasoffkee area of Sumter County and remains a person of interest in the case, according to the release.
Pippin is no longer cooperating in the investigation, said Temple Terrace Police Det. Michael Lowell. He hasn’t spoken to police in several years, and his refusal to cooperate has negatively impacted the investigation.
“He has details about her life that no one else would have, and we would like to get some of that information,” Lowell said.
The money for the reward came from the estate of Prince’s mother, Dovie Hamby, who died in March 2007. In her will, she left a portion of her estate to the Temple Terrace Police Department.
“It consisted largely of real estate, which is where those funds became available—through the sale of that real estate,” Lowell said.
The department received about $471,000 total from the sale, and Albano worked with the City Council to decide how much of a reward to offer from that amount, Lowell said.
Carney said he hopes the reward is enough to urge those who might have information to share what they know.
“Loyalties change and perspectives change over time,” he said. “You can only hope.”
If you have any information about the murder of Sandra Prince, or any information that could be useful to investigators, the Temple Terrace Police Department asks you to call 813-989-7110.