WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE: Lauren Reiff was safely located in Margate, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says.
Parents in New Jersey are making a plea to help find their daughter from more than 1,000 miles away. The 25-year-old woman disappeared from a suburban West Palm Beach halfway house last week.
Now, WFLX is learning this halfway house is not certified by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences.
Paula and Eddie Reiff say their daughter had been coping with drug addiction at halfway house on 48th Street. They wanted to bring her back home to Jersey and bought her a plane ticket for this past weekend, just in time for her birthday, but she never made it on her flight.
Lauren Reiff called her mother from a halfway house last Tuesday night. She told her she was ready to come home.
"We had a big family barbecue planned like a welcome home/birthday for her. She was supposed to get home Saturday evening and then we had this party planned for yesterday for her 25th birthday," said Paula Reiff via a Skype interview from her Sussex, New Jersey home.
Reiff says her daughter was getting treatment for her heroin addiction. After eight months of intensive recovery, she was looking forward to going back to Jersey and seeing her 4-year-old son.
"She was well aware of her flight, she was excited to come home and I never heard from her again. I got a phone call Wednesday, I'm sorry Thursday morning from Francine telling me that my daughter disappeared," added Reiff.
Francine Davis confirmed for us on the phone that she runs the halfway house. Lauren's parents she sent them their daughter's cell phone in the mail, postmarked July 1st, the day before Reiff says Francine told her Lauren disappeared.
"Just in my heart I'm like feeling it's been too long and I don't know whether she's really been missing since Tuesday night when I spoke to her," said Reiff.
Family and friends are now sharing Lauren's picture on Facebook. Teresa Baber of Fort Pierce was the nurse who cared for Paula when she was pregnant with Lauren.
"When I read on Facebook that Lauren was missing, I lost my son to drug abuse 17 years ago and I know exactly what her parents are going through," said Baber.
John Lehman, President of the Florida Association of Recovery Residences says there is no record of this halfway house applying to become FARR certified. He says because it is not certified there is no requirement to report a missing patient. Lauren's parents were the ones who reported her disappearance to law enforcement.
"It's devastating that she's not here, and I can't imagine God forbid that something happened to her and that she's never coming back," said Reiff.
If you've seen Lauren Reiff, you're urged to call the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
Legislation regulating halfway houses does not go into effect until July 2016, after that treatment providers will only be able to refer patients to DCF certified halfway houses or sober homes.
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