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Missing Texas Junior High School Teacher's Car, Phone Found In New Orleans

Michelle Reynolds, a sixth grade teacher from Texas, told her husband she was going out for lunch but never returned. Her car has since been found in New Orleans.

By Megan Carpentier
A police handout of Michelle Reynolds

Two days after a junior high school teacher went missing in Texas last week, her husband found her car in New Orleans — with no sign of her in it.

Mother-of-three Michelle Reynolds, 48, was reported missing from Alvin, Texas — a southern suburb of Houston — by her husband Michael Reynolds on Thursday, Sept. 22. She was last seen around noon on Thursday, the Brazoria County Sheriffs's Office reported. Michael Reynolds told Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, "She said that she was going to get something to eat and she never returned."

Michelle Reynolds, who teaches sixth grade language arts at Alvin's Fairview Junior High, drove off in her gray 2018 Lexus NX 300 SUV. According to the post shared by the sheriff's office, Michael Reynolds used Lexus' Roadside Service and discovered the vehicle parked in New Orleans on Friday, but when New Orleans Police responded to the scene, the vehicle was supposedly not there.

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A second attempt by the roadside service to locate the vehicle was conducted on Saturday, and Michael Reynolds told KHOU that he and his brother drove the 350 miles to find it. 

"We were able to unlock the car and found that her personal items were still in the vehicle but she was not in the vehicle," he told the station on Monday. "Her phone has not been used. Her phone was in the car. Her phone did have charge but it was turned off."

Michelle Reynolds' purse — including her license and credit cards — were also discovered in the SUV, according to Houston Fox affiliate KRIV.

A police handout of Michelle Reynolds

On Tuesday, Texas EquuSearch co-founder Tim Miller said that Michael Reynolds had requested their assistance, according to KHOU. He told both stations that they had discovered surveillance video of Michelle Reynolds parking the car on Friday afternoon where Michael Reynolds ultimately found it on Saturday.

"We did get surveillance of her actually parking her car on Saint Peters Street at 12:01 p.m. Friday afternoon and then kind of what direction she was walking," Miller told KRIV. "Saint Peters Street is pretty close to the Mississippi River."

"There’s some things that we're going on," Miller added. "In the beginning we were wondering: 'Was she carjacked? Is something else happening?' Until we got that surveillance and yes, she parked at 12:01 p.m., got out of her car, and started walking."

"So we know now that foul play did not happen from point A to point B," he finished. "Hopefully, she’s confused, and she’s wandering around over there and somebody's going to see her, and we’re going to get her back safe. That’s certainly the goal."

Both stations reported that Texas EquuSearch conducted a helicopter search around the Mississippi River area, but haven't turned up anything of interest.

"I just got the video back from about 20 miles along the river to see if she is in there," Miller told KHOU. "They didn’t come up with anything."

Michael Reynolds is hoping the search is successful.

"My daughter is having a really tough time and so is my 13-year-old daughter and my 11-year-old son as well," he told KHOU. "Please be on the lookout for Michelle. We love her and miss her dearly. We're doing everything we can to bring her home safe."

Texas Equusearch, the New Orleans Police Department, the Alvin Police Department and the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office encourage anyone with information about or who has seen Michelle Reynolds to contact any of those agencies. The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office's active missing person case on Reynolds is case No. 2209-0540.