Missing Lehigh Acres woman found dead, being investigated as unsuspicious

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Elena Barrabi (Credit: Submitted photo)

UPDATE: Lee County Sheriff’s Office says it found missing woman Elena Barrabi dead Thursday, and an unsuspicious death investigation is underway.

There is no further information at this time.


A family is hoping to find their loved one safe and sound after she went missing earlier this week.

Elena Barrabi’s daughter said her mom has been struggling with her mental health, including anxiety and depression.

Barrabi, 62, was last seen Sunday leaving a SalusCare facility where she was receiving help for those struggles. SalusCare gave her a bus ticket, but no one knows where she went or who she’s with.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has said only that Barrabi’s disappearance is not yet deemed suspicious, but they are asking for your help in finding her.

Barrabi’s daughter, Daniella Paez, flew in from Georgia. While she has no idea where her mom is, she wants her back.

“I know I’m positioned as best as I can be to find her,” an emotional Paez said. “And I hope that I find her alive.”

Frank Delgado is Barrabi’s longtime partner.

“She’s the best … I’m telling you she’s the best,” he said through tears.

“I just wanna make sure she’s OK, that’s all I wanna know…everyone wants to know.”

SalusCare would not tell WINK News anything, not even if Barrabi had been there. The shelter next door said detectives stopped by but they too had not seen the woman. It was the same story at a different, nearby treatment center – more detectives with questions, but still, no one’s seen Barrabi.

“We saw…somebody who we thought could’ve been her. We thought could’ve been her, and then I find out today it’s just been the wrong person the whole time,” Paez said.

While they don’t know where Barrabi is or who she’s with, if anyone, they do know her. She’s warm, friendly, and talkative, they said.

“I told her all my life, ‘Honey, you’re an easy target,'” Delgado said. “She’s so nice, goes to Publix; she talks to everyone, everyone.”

“She’ll give you the clothes off her back which is both a good thing and bad thing,” Paez said.

Elena Barrabi was last seen wearing jeans and a beige and white T-shirt. She’s 5’4″ and weighs 180 pounds. If you have any information on her whereabouts, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.

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