Missing Florida veteran Rachel Schwartz, a mother of two who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, has been found safe, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
“The missing person has been recovered and is safe,” a spokeswoman said late Tuesday afternoon. “Thank you.” Schwartz told her father and at least one other friend that she was afraid of an ex-boyfriend before she vanished, according to her family. “Her last message to my dad was that she wanted to come home, and she was afraid of her ex,” Schwartz’s sister, Elizabeth Schrupp, wrote in a Facebook post.
Her family had not spoken with Schwartz since Jan. 31, when she was seen on Ring doorbell camera video leaving her ex’s house with luggage. According to her sister’s posts, that’s the same day her phone and social media accounts went quiet. Her brother-in-law, Benjamin Schrupp, initially said the family believed she went to stay at a home in Spring Hill, where the owner was known to provide rooms for vets in crisis.
Schwartz, 33, suffers from PTSD and other stress-related illness, according to her family, and had a rocky, on-and-off relationship. When contacted by phone Tuesday prior to the sheriff’s announcement, the ex-boyfriend, John Scorah, said “not interested” and hung up. She had moved back to Minnesota to get away from him, according to Schrupp, but in early January returned to Florida to visit her two sons, who she shares with a different man. On the same trip, she also met up with her ex.
Joel Dunn, at whose Spring Hill home the family thought she had sought refuge, said that Schwartz was “pretty stressed out” during her stay because she was torn between returning to her home state of Minnesota to take part in a VA class and staying in Florida to be closer to her sons.
“When she left where I was, she told me that her boyfriend was coming to pick her up,” he said. That was around Jan. 27, he said, adding that he did not see who picked her up that day.
“Rachel, I have everything that you need,” a man’s voice can be heard calling after her as she pulls a suitcase and carry-on bag down the driveway. “I’m asking for one more day.”
Dunn said she did not return to his home after that exchange.
“She never came back [or] called,” he told Fox News Digital. “We tried to contact her, but she did not respond.”
Something seemed wrong later when her mother called from Minnesota and said she wasn’t responding to her either, he said.
“That was not like Rae’s personality at all,” he said. “She always stayed in touch with everyone, especially her mom.”
According to her sister, she also missed a Feb. 4 flight home.
Court documents obtained by Fox News Digital show Scorah was accused of domestic violence battery in April after allegedly striking Schwartz in the face with his shoulder and causing a bruise.
“There was a domestic violence call to the house, John was arrested actually, went to jail, and I believe there was a no-contact order,” Ben Schrupp said Tuesday.
Court records show he was ordered to surrender his firearms while the case was pending – but prosecutors abandoned the charges last fall.
The state’s attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Dunn said he had only met Scorah once, about three years ago.
“Normal guy,” he said. “She did not seem uncomfortable when I saw him.”
Schwartz is described as 5 feet, 2 inches tall with blue eyes and blonde hair and weighing around 100 pounds. She has visible freckles when not wearing makeup, often wears hats or big sunglasses and may wear her hair in a military braid.
She was last seen wearing blue pants, a white sleeveless shirt and carrying a large black suitcase and an orange and black carry-on bag.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office at 352-754-6830.