by: Chip Skambis, Field Sutton Updated:
WINTER PARK, Fla. - The body of a missing 56-year-old Altamonte Springs woman was found in Orange County Saturday, Winter Park police chief Michael Deal said.
Jennifer Fulford disappeared Wednesday morning under suspicious circumstances, Winter Park police Lt. John Montgomery said. Police have ruled her death a homicide.
"Jennifer Lynn Fulford did not deserve this fate. She was a productive member of our community," said Deal.
A person of interest in Fulford's disappearance, who police have now identified as 53-year-old Scott Nelson, used an ATM to access the missing woman's bank account, police said.
Nelson was apprehended by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sunday evening at a motel.
Watch: Winter Park Police Chief gives update on missing woman
Fulford's Hyundai SUV went missing as well, but was found Friday in Orange County, police said.
Winter Park police said they've obtained "valuable evidence" from the car Saturday.
Community please help locate Scott Edward Nelson, he is a person of interest in the death of missing WP woman Jennifer Fulford. pic.twitter.com/SUCjOi93YL— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) September 30, 2017
"At this time we are not able to release specific information about the evidence but all available resources are being utilized to locate Jennifer," said Montgomery in a release.
The location of the SUV was not released.
Police released a photo Thursday of Nelson in which he was wearing a shirt with a logo from a nearby personal training facility near the Well's Fargo bank where money was withdrawn from Fulford's account.
On its Facebook page, the company, Workout 32789, said that the person of interest had never been to the facility.
"The person of interest featured in the media photo has never been an employee or client of this studio," the Facebook post said.
No one was available at Workout 32789's Pennsylvania Avenue facility for comment Friday.
Fulford was last heard from shortly before 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at a home at East Webster Avenue and Golfview Terrace across from the Winter Park Country Club, Winter Park police Sgt. Garvin McComie said.
Police released a video Thursday that shows Fulford leaving a dentist office on West Canton Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
She can be seen walking out carrying her purse and a white bag while talking on the phone in the video.
The police chief said Thursday that the disappearance is uncharacteristic and that the photo of the person of interest has generated many leads.
He also said the FBI is now involved in the investigation and that there is a $5,000 reward for information on the case.
A steady stream of investigators came and went from the home Thursday, which is owned by Reid Berman.
The woman's husband, Robert Fulford, said in a Facebook post that she was to travel to Dallas Thursday to visit her newborn granddaughter.
"Her purse was found on the floor at her employer's house where she works as a nanny," he said. "Her boss called the police when she failed to pick up his son."
The chief said there were no signs of a struggle at the home.
Forensic technicians were seen taking bags and boxes out of the home.
“I grew up here, and it’s really safe," resident Glenn Primack said. "I don’t know why someone would (disappear)."
The disappearance is a shock to Jennifer Fulford's friends.
"So baffled. She was so kind. I don't know if he was following her, watching her -- why her?," said her friend, Debbie Mitchell. "I just hope and pray that they find her."
Mitchell works on upscale Park Avenue blocks from where Jennifer Fulford was last captured on camera.
"She loves this area. Winter Park is safe. She has worked for Mr. Berman for quite a while," said Mitchell.
Neighbors are mystified by the police activity and the notion that a nanny has disappeared along with her SUV.
“It wouldn't be anything normal for this area," resident Sheri Primack said. "That’s concerning."
Jennifer Fulford has of an average build, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and has brown eyes and strawberry blond hair.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts or the identity or location of the person of interest is asked to call Winter Park police at 407-644-1313 or Crimeline at 407-423-8477.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
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