UPDATE: The parents of Krystal Pittman sent a note this morning saying she has been found, alive and well. We’ll update the story with more detail as we get it.
An e-mail from Don Pittman (father of Krystal) says she is on her way home to Florida, and may have a story to tell after being interviewed by police. According to Don Pittman, Krystal was staying in the University Place apartment complex where she was last seen almost a week ago.
Don and Tamela Pittman haven’t heard from their daughter since last Sunday, and that’s not typical.
The Florida couple called The News Tribune Friday, hoping to find their daughter, Krystal Jean Pittman, last seen in Fife or University Place. Pittman, 20, had dropped out of college and picked up work selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door for a company called Double O Family Subscriptions. The company purports to sell subscriptions while teaching young people sales skills.
Such operations have drawn criticism from business watchdogs and warnings from federal and state authorities. The Washington attorney general’s office has received numerous complaints about door-to-door magazine sellers; a news release from the AG, sent out in June, offered the most recent warning.
According to the Pittmans, Krystal had stayed in touch while on the road, typically calling or sending a message every other day. Krystal then said she’d lost her phone. Her parents offered to send her a new one, but she said she didn’t need it. Her messages stopped last Sunday. That’s also the date of her last Facebook post. The parents called the subscription company and spoke to Mark McCulley, a listed contact on the company’s website.
McCulley told The News Tribune that Krystal and other salespeople had stopped at Chambers Creek Estates, an apartment complex in University Place. Other salespeople returned from knocking on doors; Krystal did not. Last Sunday, the sales group returned to a hotel in Fife, where they had been staying, McCulley said. Krystal’s personal items were still in her room, where she’d been staying with another individual, McCulley said. The following day, the items were gone. Krystal’s sales materials had been left on the bed – but no one had seen her.
No one else had a key to the room, McCulley said, and the hotel didn’t give out any new keys. He didn’t call police, he said, because Krystal is an adult, free to come and go. The removal of her items from the hotel room suggested she’d left on her own.
“We can only assume that it was indeed her,” McCulley said. “If you’re in trouble, you’re not just gonna come back to the hotel and get stuff and not tell anyone. We want to get this resolved as well.”
The Pittmans reported the incident to Fife Police, and also called police in University Place. As of late Friday, they hadn’t heard from their daughter. Below is a picture pulled from Krystal’s Facebook page.