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Body is found in vehicle submerged pond belonging to Florida mom-of-three Stephanie Hollingsworth


Body believed to be of missing Florida mom-of-three is found in her vehicle submerged in a pond 23 days after she ‘vanished into thin air’

  • A car belonging to Stephanie Hollingsworth, 50, was found with a body inside
  • Police say they were working with drone pilots when they found the sunken car 
  • The mother-of-three was last seen around noon on September 25 
  • ATM records show she withdrew $20 from a local ATM about two hours later, before she was spotted on surveillance cameras inside a local Walmart
  • She suffers from unspecified mental health conditions and requires care  
  • The finding of her vehicle is the first major break in the case in 23 days  

By James Gordon For

Published: | Updated:

Florida authorities who have been searching for a missing mother who vanished while running errands have found her car with a body inside some 23 days after she went missing. 

Stephanie Chitwood Hollingsworth, 50, was last seen on September 25th. Her car, a silver Chevy Tahoe, was found submerged with a body inside on Saturday in Belle Isle near Orlando.

Police found the vehicle while using a drone to conduct the search. The car was spotted underwater in a pond. 

While authorities have confirmed that a body was inside, they have not yet revealed the identity of the victim.

Stephanie Chitwood Hollingsworth, 50, was last seen by family members leaving her home on Monet Avenue, in Belle Isle, at around noon on September 25. Her car was found on Saturday

She was last seen driving a silver Chevrolet Tahoe, pictured above. The car was found in a pond near Belle Isle this weekend

What is known is that the mother-of-three left her home in the SUV around noon Sept. 25 to run some errands.

She took off in her 2000 silver Chevrolet Tahoe, taking her purse with her but leaving her cellphone behind. 

Police say her debit card was last used around 2pm that day as she withdrew $20 from an ATM but she has not been heard from nor seen since.

Husband, Scott Hollingsworth, appeared mystified that his wife would leave the family home for any length of time without explaining where she was going. 

Her husband Scott Hollingsworth said it was unlike his wife, the mother of his three sons (above), to take off without her phone, a change of clothes, or word of where she was heading. He said she’d never abandon her children

Investigators say they’re concerned for her well-being as she suffers from unspecified mental health conditions and requires care

‘This isn’t like her at all,’ he told People Magazine last week. ‘She loves her boys and would never voluntarily be away for this long.’

Surveillance video from the bank did not seem to show anything out of the ordinary, and Hollingsworth does not appear to be in any distress in the footage. Her debit and credit cards have not been used since she vanished.

‘What’s odd about this case is that there’s only been one sighting or one transaction at the Bank of America Friday. Outside of that, we’ve taken just about every avenue that we can to locate her or the vehicle,’ said Sergeant Detective Jeremy Millis to Click Orlando. ‘There has been absolutely no sightings of the vehicle since the Bank of America transaction.’

Belle Isle Chief of Police Laura Houston said her department is not ruling out the fact Hollingsworth could’ve simply left on her own volition; but they aren’t ruling out foul play either.  

‘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 said.

He added the family has to ‘suspect the worst’ at this stage, but he vowed never to stop looking for Stephanie until the circumstances around her vanishing are made clear.

‘I’m asking for everybody’s help to do everything they can to find her,’ said Scott. ‘Understand that this woman… Stephanie, my wife of 25 years is in trouble and we need to get her back to her family, her children.

‘Stephanie… we are looking for you, your family loves you more than ever. We don’t know what’s going on but we’re going to find you…. just know that,’ he continued.

Last week a vigil was held attended by dozens in the local community, a testament to how loved his wife was, Scott said.

‘She’s an amazing person, an amazing mother. She’s a beautiful soul and just gave everything she had to everyone in her life,’ he told the Orlando Sentinel. ‘A lot of people loved her, and anyone could always count on her.’

Hollingsworth is described as five-feet, four-inches tall, has brown hair and eyes. She last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants, and driving a silver Chevrolet Tahoe with the Florida license plate: Y50XUR.

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.

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.

Stephanie’s husband, Scott, said the family has to ‘suspect the worst’ at this stage, but he vowed never to stop looking for her until the circumstances around her vanishing are understood 


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