WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been more than four months since Charlotte Lester vanished without a trace, and while investigators are diligently working to find her, Lester’s family does not believe she will be found alive.
The 44-year-old was last seen on May 16 in Apponaug, specifically near Post Road.
Investigators have been searching for her ever since, finding her red pickup truck abandoned at Kent Hospital and her beloved dog wandering Elmwood Avenue near Belmont Park.
Kathy Wilson, a family friend, tells 12 News Lester’s family and close friends believe something sinister happened to her.
“Everybody has been referring to this as a missing person case,” Wilson said. “But the family strongly believes that her life has been taken and it’s not a missing person case. We believe it’s a murder investigation.”
Wilson said they are determined to find out what happened to her, so much so they’ve hired a private investigator.
“There’s no statute of limitations on her disappearance or her death, so it’s not that we need to be quick about this,” Wilson explained. “We just need to be methodical, and we do have faith that there will be justice.”
Warwick detectives have remain tight-lipped regarding the investigation into Lester’s disappearance, but did recently confirm they’ve identified multiple persons of interest. They declined to comment when 12 News asked whether they believe foul play was involved in Lester’s case or whether they believe she is alive.
Lester’s family and friends have searched the woods near Belmont Park and along the Pawtuxet River for any clues as to where she might be.
One of those search parties found a series of letters in the woods near where Lester’s truck was found.
Those letters, which investigators have described as “articles of interest,” all appear to be addressed to Charlotte.
“Charlotte, I am falling for your deeply,” one reads.
That same day, investigators searched a Staples Avenue home she was known to frequent.
Lester’s family is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone with information pertinent to the investigation. She is described as a white female with a slim-to-medium build and brown eyes. It’s also possible she’s wearing a wig, according to police.
Anyone with information on Lester’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Warwick Police Department at (401) 468-4200.