Florida authorities search nature reserve for missing 21-year-old woman with autism

Hollywood Police DepartmentBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for a 21-year-old woman with autism who disappeared from a Florida nature reserve a week ago.

Noemi Bolivar was last seen at the Ann Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood, Florida, on the afternoon of Feb. 11, according to a Facebook post by the Hollywood Police Department.

Police did not immediately respond Thursday to ABC News’ request for additional information on the case.

Bolivar’s parents told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV that she left their home around 4 p.m. that day to catch a bus to go hiking at the nature reserve.

“She’s just a nature girl. She loves birds,” her mother, Marycel Bolivar, told WPLG in a recent interview. “That’s her passion — go look at the birds and the plants and everything.”

Bolivar has autism, although her parents said she is high-functioning. They said it is uncharacteristic of her to leave without keeping in touch and they fear she may have been kidnapped, according to WPLG.

Bolivar took a selfie with her cellphone at the observation tower inside the nature reserve and sent it to a friend on Snapchat. But she stopped sending or receiving messages and calls that evening around 6:15 p.m., according to WPLG.

Police were able to ping Bolivar’s cellphone a few hours later, showing the location to be near Hollywood Beach. But when officers arrived, she was nowhere to be found, according to WPLG.

Investigators from the Hollywood Police Department and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office conducted a grid search from the air and ground of a wooded area near the nature reserve on Wednesday in hopes of finding clues.

“The reason why we’re doing that is to possibly find any evidence or any indication of where she could possibly be or have traveled,” Officer Christian Lata, a spokesman for the Hollywood Police Department, told WPLG.

Investigators currently don’t suspect any foul play in Bolivar’s disappearance, according to WPLG.

“We want to assure the family, we want to assure the citizens that we’re doing everything we possibly can to help find Noemi,” Lata said.

Anyone with information on Bolivar’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Hollywood Police Department at 954-967-4636 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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