UPDATE: On Tuesday, November 1, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office announced that 48-year-old Michelle Reynolds has been found safe. In a statement, they said that “Michelle has been located alive and well in New Orleans by the Louisiana State Police” and ”has been safely reunited with her family.”
The statement went on to say that at the request of the family, no additional information will be released at this time.
“We really need her home,” Michael Reynolds told Dateline. “We’re very hopeful.”
Michael’s wife, 48-year-old Michelle Reynolds, has been missing for a week. She was last seen on September 22, 2022, at her Brazoria County, Texas, home, right outside of Houston.
Michelle was born and raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Michael said around 1999, Michelle made her way to Texas. “She ended up getting a job as a teacher in Orange, Texas,” Michael told Dateline. “That’s where we met.”
Michael said it all started with an introduction from his cousin. “That’s where my cousin and my mom’s family lives,” Michael said. “I was coming to visit my mom and just happened to meet Michelle.”
The couple married in 2002 and eventually settled in Brazoria County, Texas. “It’s a good place to raise a family,” Michael told Dateline. And a family they raised. “We have three kids, ages: 11, 13, and 18,” Michael said. “We spend most of our time, actually, just with the kids and our family,” he added. “We go to our kid’s events.”
When the couple isn’t spending time with their own children -- they’re teaching other children, Michael told Dateline. The Reynolds work at different schools in the Alvin County School District. “We’ve been teaching in Alvin for about eight years,” he said. “We both teach 6th grade.”
Michelle works at Fairview Middle School, but in the days leading up to her disappearance, she was taking some time off. Michael told Dateline Michelle has struggled with her mental health for about seven years. “We were really working on getting her well,” Michael said. “She seems like she was getting better, then all of a sudden there’s something that triggered [her].”
Michael told Dateline on the morning of Thursday, September 22, Michelle visited a counselor and went home. “My daughter was here. Then my wife said, ‘OK, well, I’m gonna get something to eat and I’m gonna go by the bank and then I’ll see you later,” Michael recalled his daughter telling him. “That’s the last time we saw her. That’s the last time anybody saw her.”
Michael told Dateline his daughter called him -- concerned -- when she returned home from school and Michelle wasn’t home. “I was at work. She said, ‘Have you seen Mom?’” Michael said. “So I started calling [her] and it went straight to voicemail.”
Michael immediately knew something was wrong. “We started our search that evening,” Michael said. “I made the first missing person report with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department.”
On Tuesday, September 27, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office posted on their Facebook Page that Michelle was last seen at “noon on Thursday 9/22/2022,” driving a “dark gray, 2018, Lexus NX 300 with license plate RSV-2914.”
According to the post, Michael Reynolds “contacted Lexus Roadside Service and together they "pinged" the car in New Orleans on the night of 9/23/2022” but “once New Orleans Police arrived at the location shown, the vehicle was no longer there.” Michelle’s car was then “located in New Orleans on the night of 9/24/2022” but there was “no sign of Michelle.” The post also stated that a missing person report had been filed with the New Orleans Police Department.
Michael said he isn’t sure why Michelle’s car would be in New Orleans, about five hours away from their home. “We don’t have any friends or family in southern Louisiana,” Michael said.
Michael told Dateline that he and Michelle’s brother arrived in New Orleans on the night of Saturday, September 24. “We found the car about 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.” Michael said. He added that Michelle’s “wallet was in the car with her driver’s license, her debit card for our bank account, and her cell phone.”
According to Michael, a local business was able to provide him with security footage from where Michelle’s car was found. “It showed her being parked at St. Joseph and South Peter’s in New Orleans,” Michael said. “She sits in the car for about 20 minutes and then opens the door, gets out, shuts the door, walks away.”
Due to the quality of the footage, Michael told Dateline he isn’t sure the woman on the video was Michelle. “We have to have better video to make sure we can positively identify her,” he said.
Until then, Michael told Dateline the search for his wife continues. “There’s a lot of people on the ground,” Michael said.
Michael said that he contacted Tim Miller, the founder and Executive Director of Texas EquuSearch to assist with the search for Michelle. According to their website, the company’s volunteers “have given their own time, talents, resources, and dedication to help recover and return lost and missing loved ones to their families. “They flew up and down the river looking,” Michael said. “They’re getting a boat so they can do a little bit closer of a search.”
Dateline also spoke with Tim Miller, who said his team has been searching everywhere. “We bring up all our resources,” Miller said. “We’re going to the Mississippi river again tomorrow.”
“We’re in the beginning stages of it,” Miller added. “Let’s hope things are developing as we speak.”
Michael told Dateline he will never stop looking for his wife and mother to their three children. “I update them regularly because I want them to understand what’s going on,” Michael said. “They’re very scared and worried for the safety of their mother,” Michael said.
Michelle is 5’10”, 175 lbs., with blonde hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black leggings, sandals, and a dark-colored jacket.
Anyone with information on Michelle’s whereabouts is asked to contact the New Orleans Police Department at 504-821-2222, the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office at 979-864-2392 or Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500.