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Frederick family asks for privacy amid 'crisis' after missing wife, mother found

June 26, 2013|BY HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com
  • Teresa Lentz
Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff's Office

The disappearance of a 49-year-old Frederick County, Md., woman who had been missing since June 19 but was found late Tuesday night was not the result of criminal activity, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Teresa Lentz was found alive and unharmed in Spotsylvania County, Va., Tuesday night, following an intensive “around-the-clock” search, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Lentz’s disappearance “was not a result of criminal activity and her travel out of our jurisdiction was a choice she made willingly,” the release said.

Lentz was reported to be in police protection in Virginia, where she was reunited with her family Tuesday night.

The Lentz family issued the following statement Wednesday:

“First we would very much like to thank the entire sheriff’s department, the Frederick community and everyone who prayed for Terri’s safe return to our family. We are overjoyed that she is safe and back with us. At this time, we would like everyone to know that we are in a family crisis situation, and that we just need privacy at this time. We would like to thank the media for their professionalism and respect during this time. We would also like to extend a special thank you to our pastor, Pastor Jenny Smith, for everything she has done for our family during this time.

Thank you very much for everything you and your department have done assisting our family. We sincerely appreciate your commitment to this case and to our family, and we are grateful that Terri is home safe.”

Further details related to Lentz’s disappearance will not be released by the sheriff’s office out of respect for the family, the release said.

Lentz left home around noon on June 19, according to previous reports.

John Lentz said he spoke with his wife that afternoon, but the mother of two had not been heard from since.

Shawna Lentz found her mother’s Ford Expedition that night with her cellphone and keys inside.

Investigators were processing forensic evidence from the vehicle, from which items were missing. Officials would not disclose what those items were, according to earlier reports.
 
“It’s very concerning. At this point, we are not saying it’s foul play, but very suspicious,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Bailey said prior to Lentz being found.

Investigators also were in the process of interviewing witnesses, and examining bank and phone records.

“They’re looking into everything,” Bailey said previously. “We have numerous investigators working on the case. It is a priority for the office.”

To cope, family and friends distributed posters about the missing woman to local businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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