30 June 2015
For the first time since the mysterious disappearance of Scottsville-area resident Renee Field one year ago, authorities have confirmed that they believe she was the victim of foul play and is likely dead.
Besides her husband, Lewis Field, Renee Field’s “closest living connection” was with her parents, Waverly and Irene Branch of Lexington, who spoke with their daughter on the phone every week, said Investigator David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s no indication why she’d break up contact with her parents,” Wells said.
Though the Fields had no children, they did have an elderly cat that required special daily medical care. The cat was “like her baby,” said Wells. “We don’t think she would leave her cat of her own free will.”
And Wells doesn’t believe Renee Field picked up and left. “There’s no logical reason for her on her own to take off,” he said. She didn’t have a job and no accounts have shown any financial activity since her disappearance. If she and her husband had argued, “we’re told she would have taken the cat and reached out to her parents,” Wells said.
According to her husband, Renee Field, 49, left her home July 2, 2014, in her 2010 burgundy Subaru Forester and did not return. Then around 2 a.m. on July 4, a Fluvanna patrol deputy found her car parked in the Zion Crossroads park and ride commuter lot. Her purse, cell phone, and keys were in the car but her credit cards, cash, and driver’s license were gone.
Four months after Renee Field’s disappearance, her mother, Irene Branch, 82, died in the Roanoke Memorial Hospital without knowing what happened to her daughter. Her obituary said she was “survived by” her daughter Renee. “Losing my wife and then Renee missing – this past year hasn’t been good at all,” said Waverly Branch.
In trying to puzzle out Renee Field’s disappearance, “We look for means, motive, and opportunity,” said Wells. “Who has those?”
But searches haven’t uncovered any other close connections. She had no best friends, no real social media presence, and wasn’t “a big Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest type of person,” Wells said. When searching her computer, authorities found nothing of interest but plenty of photos of her cat.
Her cell phone records don’t help, either. “She wasn’t a big mobile phone user,” Wells said. In fact, the last time she used her cell phone was June 26, 2014 – days before she went missing.