LEESBURG, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Residents along a quiet suburban boulevard in Leesburg are unnerved to see crime scene investigators next door, at the home of a missing 84-year-old woman. Bernadine Montgomery was last seen June 15.
"She kind of stayed to herself. She liked to go to her church to have choir practice. She did a few things, but I never saw her a whole lot," said Jewell Lovell, one of Montgomery's neighbors. "I just think something terrible has happened to her. I don't think they're going to find anything good."
Investigators searched Montgomery's home for clues into her disapperance. During the day, dive teams searched the lake near her house, also known as Ski Beach. On land, a cadaver dog searched for signs of her during the day. "I feel really bad about it," Lovell said.
Meanwhile, a man was arrested Thursday and charged with stealing Montgomery's car. A neighbor told police they saw Jeremy Gentry driving it from the home.
Gentry is being held with no bond at the Lake County Jail.
A neighbor and others told police they had seen three to five men and women coming and going from Montgomery's home over the past few weeks, then this past week, they saw only them and not her.
The question looms: .Was Montgomery taken advantage of and victimized?
Lieutenant Joe Iozzi, with the Leesburg Police Department, told FOX 35, "That was a concern of the neighbors when they called us. Was the fact that these folks were not her age. They were half her age. They were suspicious in nature, their actions. That's why we were involved in this case in the first place."
In the meantime, as the hours pass, neighbors like Lovell are just waiting for news of where Montgomery may be. Police said they're praying for a positive outcome, but they're absolutely prepared for a negative outcome, too.
"The water search has been discontinued at this time, and detectives will be reconvening at the residence first thing tomorrow morning to further work the LCSO CSI unit at that location," said Lt. Iozzi. "Detectives have been continuously following leads and conducting interviews to further this investigation, and will continue to so throughout the weekend."