Local News

Sanford Residents Worried About Crime In Missing Woman's Neighborhood

Posted May 17, 2004 4:04 a.m. EDT

— With every day that passes, family and friends of a Sanford woman who disappeared last week fear the worst. Investigators said they are getting a lot of leads, but so far nothing is panning out. Neighbors say crime on their street may have played a role in the disappearance.

Since his wife disappeared last week, Foster Watts spends most of his time on the porch, waiting for Linda Watts.

"I sit on the porch day in, day out. Half the night, get up early in the morning, come out and see if she came up the street," he said. "I hope she comes up the street. I miss her so much."

Witnesses told police Watts was forced into a car by two men after leaving work at the

Sanford Herald

Tuesday night.

Carol Goins used to share a cab to work with Watts. When Goins retired, Watts started walking. Goins said crime is a problem in her neighborhood, and she is worried about Watts walking alone.

"I've seen a lot of women walking up and down the street. They know sooner or later, it could happen to them," Goins said.

Sanford police said there has only been one murder in the area this year, and they hope this case is not the second.

"Virtually, we're working day and night," said Capt. David Smith of the Sanford Police Department.

Sanford police said investigators are following every lead, but they need the public's help.

"Anybody that may have seen her walking that night [who] may have come into contact with anybody. [It] may not be important to them, but it may be important to us with what we have to go on," Smith said.

Neighbors of Watts' neighbors claim burglaries, drug dealing, gang violence and prostitution are on the rise in the area. Police said they are continually stepping up patrols to try and curb the problems.