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Loved ones concerned for Michelle Bernstein-Schultz, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona in June

The 36-year-old had reportedly told her live-in boyfriend she wasn’t feeling well. The next day, he reported her missing.

“We just want to know what happened,” Daniella Smith told Dateline. “We just want to know that she’s OK.”

Daniella’s sister, Michelle Bernstein-Schultz, was last heard from on June 29, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 36-year-old hasn’t been seen since.

“There are just two of us,” Daniella told Dateline. “I’m six and a half years older.”

Daniella and Michelle.
Daniella and Michelle.Daniella Smith

According to Daniella, their family is originally from Queens, New York, and moved to Gilbert, Arizona when Michelle was around 7. “There are a lot of farms,” Daniella said of Gilbert. “It’s actually very cute.”

But farms aren’t the only thing Arizona has to offer. “There’s hiking, beautiful wilderness areas,” Daniella said. “It’s a great place if you’re looking for outdoor adventure.”

Daniella said Michelle takes full advantage of Arizona living. “Michelle’s an avid hiker,” Daniella said. “She takes her hiking very seriously.”

Daniella told Dateline that Michelle has been divorced twice and has one son from each marriage. “One is 15 and one is 10,” Daniella said. Both children live with their fathers.

Michelle moved in with her boyfriend in Phoenix in October 2021. The two have been dating for about a year and a half.

Daniella told Dateline that sometime during the week of June 20, their mother, Patricia Yaloz, spoke to Michelle on the phone.

Michelle and her mother, Patricia.
Michelle and her mother, Patricia.Daniella Smith

“There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary,” Patricia told Dateline. “She wasn’t feeling well, and I was asking her how she was feeling that day.”

That was the last time anyone in her family heard Michelle’s voice. It was about a week before she disappeared.

Daniella did say that a friend of Michelle’s had been texting with her on June 29. “All day long back and forth,” Daniella told Dateline. “The last message that he received from her was at 4:03 p.m.,” Daniella said, adding that “no one heard from her after that.”

Patricia said she received a text from Michelle’s boyfriend on June 30. “’Michelle has not been seen or heard from since yesterday,’” Patricia quoted the text as reading. “’She is now considered a missing person.’”

She told Dateline she immediately called her daughter’s boyfriend to find out what was going on, but when he didn’t answer, “I called the police,” Patricia said. “They told me that indeed there was a recent report filed that morning.”

Patricia said that later that afternoon, around 4 p.m., she called Michelle’s boyfriend again.

This time he picked up. “I asked him if they had a fight. He said they did not,” Patricia told Dateline. She added that Michelle’s boyfriend told her that he had spoken with Michelle on June 29, and she told him “she was not feeling well” and “didn’t want to be bothered.” Patricia said he told her that when he got home later that night, “he went straight to sleep on the living room couch.”

“In the morning he realized when he went to the bedroom that she had not slept in there,” Patricia said of their conversation. “He noticed that she had left her keys, her phone, her credit card, some cash, and her driver’s license.” Michelle’s car was also still in the parking lot of their apartment complex.

According to Patricia, that’s when Michelle’s boyfriend notified the police that Michelle was missing.

Dateline tried to locate Michelle’s boyfriend to see if he could provide any additional details, but was unsuccessful.

On July 2, the Phoenix Police Department posted on Twitter that Michelle was “last seen on June 29th in the area of 40th St and Greenway Rd,” and “anyone with information as to her whereabouts is asked to contact Phoenix Police.” The police did not indicate whether they believe foul play is involved and no persons of interest have been named in Michelle’s disappearance.

Dateline has reached out to the Phoenix Police Department multiple times for comment but has yet to receive a response.

Daniella told Dateline it is extremely unlike her sister to just disappear. “I have never seen any behavior like this before,” Daniella said. “She didn’t take her dog or her phone.” According to Daniella, Michelle took her dog, Ava, everywhere. But Ava was left behind in the apartment along with the rest of Michelle’s belongings.

Michelle and Ava.
Michelle and Ava.Daniella Smith

Michelle also had a settlement check waiting for her, which both Daniella and Patricia found strange. “She had been rear-ended in a car accident,” Daniella said. She thinks if her sister “had planned to do something like this,” – meaning disappear on purpose – “she would have wanted those $2,500.” According to Daniella, the attorney’s office called Michelle on July 1 to tell her the check was ready to pick up, but could not reach her. “It’s still sitting in the attorney’s office,” she said.

Michelle’s family has done their own searches for Michelle. Daniella told Dateline they’ve even received help from local politicians. “They are knocking door-to-door,” she said, of those helping to locate her sister.

The family is also working on getting a billboard to bring more attention to Michelle’s disappearance.

“If anyone has seen or heard from her after June 29,” Daniella pleaded, “we would really like them to come forward.”

Michelle is 5’6" tall, about 170 lbs., with short black hair. According to police, Michelle was last seen wearing a black face mask and gray sandals with fluorescent green accents.

Anyone with information on Michelle's whereabouts is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-534-2121.