Mount Dora mom’s disappearance being investigated as homicide, police say

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Police in Mount Dora said Friday their search for a local mom of three who has been missing since November is being considered a homicide.

Law enforcement officials in Lake County resumed search efforts Friday morning for 41-year-old Nicole Baldwin.


Deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday morning they were assisting Mount Dora police with their search, focusing on the lakes and ponds around the Loch Leven at Lancaster subdivision where Baldwin was last seen.

See a map below:

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Police say Baldwin was last seen on Nov. 2 by her 20-year-old daughter, the night after they celebrated her birthday. She was reported missing three days later.

Sgt. Gary Hutcheson with the Mount Dora Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit said they informed Baldwin’s family they were investigating the case as a homicide in late November.

Dive teams from sheriff’s offices in Lake, Sumter, Marion, Seminole and Volusia Counties assisted with Friday’s search effort.

The Groveland Fire Department and Search and Rescue of Central Florida have also responded.

According to the Mount Dora Police Department, Friday’s search wasn’t prompted by a specific tip, but rather as a “natural progression” in their “search strategy.”

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Police say they deployed a dive team to search a pond behind Baldwin’s home months ago and found nothing.

Sgt. Hutcheson said Friday’s search, which included four separate ponds in the area, also failed to produce any new evidence.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned in our search for Nicole,” Sgt. Hutcheson said.

Police declined to share any additional information on the case, citing the active, ongoing nature of the investigation.

Investigators said Nicole Baldwin was last seen wearing a pink nightgown and was not wearing any shoes.

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Little information has been released on the case since police announced they were offering a reward for information on Baldwin’s whereabouts back in December.

Baldwin’s husband, 43-year-old Brett Baldwin, was arrested in December on federal charges stemming from an unrelated child pornography case.

According to court documents, law enforcement seized Baldwin’s cellphone as part of the missing person investigation and a forensic examination revealed multipole images depicting the sexual abuse of children.

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