Police & Fire

Family, friends offer $12,000 reward in Medford woman’s ‘unsettling’ 2016 disappearance

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The brother of a Medford woman who went missing two years ago announced a $12,000 reward Thursday for information that could lead law enforcement to his sister, who was 71 when she went missing.

Paul Estey, whose sister Diana disappeared from her home in November 2016, contributed $6,000 to the reward, matching $6,000 in contributions from friends, family and other Medford residents that Kent Black, a Medford resident and friend of Diana Estey’s, raised through a GoFundMe campaign.

Black met Estey in the summer of 2016 when she volunteered to help out with the renovation of the community center, a project that he was overseeing in the Piscataquis County town of 245 people where they both lived. Estey had just moved back to her hometown after years of working as a university registrar in North Carolina. Black and his wife, Lyn, occasionally socialized with Estey before she disappeared.

Diana Estey

“A 71-year-old woman doesn’t just disappear with no money,” Black told the BDN last month. “From an outsider’s perspective, it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s unsettling.”

Black has participated in multiple searches to find his friend in the two years since her disappearance. He started the GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a reward after those multiple searches turned up no meaningful leads.

Paul Estey of Bangor, who has also participated in search efforts for his sister announced the $12,000 reward during a news conference at Maine State Police barracks in Bangor.

“Offering the reward is just a way to get people thinking and talking about it,” Paul Estey told the BDN last month. “She had eye problems and balance problems. Even if she wanted to, she couldn’t have wandered that far.”

At the time of her disappearance, Diana Estey’s neighbors noticed the lights in her house had been left on overnight, and the front door unlocked. Inside, they found the TV on, her purse on a table and her car keys in clear sight.

The Maine Warden Service and some Medford residents held the most recent search for Estey on Sunday. Given the amount of time that has passed and the lack of activity from Diana Estey’s bank accounts, police say there’s a strong possibility she has died.

People with information on Estey’s disappearance can call the Maine State Police at 207-973-3700.

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