For nearly a month, Daisy Thorton-Newhouse has dedicated her life to finding her younger sister, Jennifer “Jenn” Pautenis. But Daisy is afraid she’ll never see Jenn alive again.
“To be honest, I don’t think we’re going to find her alive,” Daisy told Dateline. “I think we’re going to find her body. And it breaks my heart every time I think about it.”
Jenn, 29, was last seen leaving her home in Granbury, Texas on October 20, 2019, according to Lieutenant Johnny Rose with the Hood County Sheriff’s Office. He confirmed to Dateline that Jenn was reported missing on October 25, 2019.
Daisy, who lives in Florida, told Dateline that Pautenis’s husband of two years, Ed, told them he was putting their two children to bed on October 20, when he heard his wife leaving the house and heard her driving away. He added that she had left him for another man.
Family members said they did not learn of their sister’s disappearance until they were alerted by her employer when she didn’t show up for work as a LifeCare EMS dispatcher.
Daisy said it was Jenn’s dream to be an EMS dispatcher. Jenn and her husband, Ed, moved from Florida to Granbury, Texas, in 2017, to be closer to Ed’s family.
Jenn’s husband stayed home with the children, who are 7 and 5, while Jenn worked at a restaurant and eventually landed her dream job of becoming a dispatcher.
“She was so happy. She loves helping people,” Daisy said. “She's such a good-hearted person who just loves to laugh and smile.”
When Daisy and her sister, Melissa, learned of Jenn’s disappearance, they said they were upset that no one had told them. They filed a missing person’s report on October 25.
“Her husband is saying he did not file a missing person’s report because he said she willingly left the house,” Daisy said. ”But we definitely knew something was not right. We’re her family, her blood, we know when something was wrong.”
Dateline NBC reached to Ed for comment, but had not heard back by Monday evening.
Daisy told Dateline she doesn’t believe her sister would ever walk out on her children.
“They are her world. She loved being with them,” Daisy said. “They were always making these fun, creative YouTube videos together.”
Daisy said her sister loves being on social media and the fact that she hasn’t been since she disappeared is a “big red flag.”
“I’m coping with the fact that she’s probably gone,” Daisy said. “But I’m not going to give up searching. For her, for closure, for something.”
Daisy, her friend, and two cousins, created a search group and even though Daisy is in Florida, she said they have people on the ground in Texas, combing every inch of the Granbury area.
“I don’t even have the words to express how grateful I am for the Granbury community,” Daisy said. “If it wasn’t for that community and the people willing to search for my sister, I don't know where we’d be. We’re finding out more and more each day, and I know we’re just one step closer to finding out what happened to my sister.”
Lieutenant Rose told Dateline the case is being classified as a missing person case and is under investigation. The lieutenant stressed to Dateline that Ed Pautenis has been cooperating in the investigation. The Texas Rangers have also joined the investigation.
“We’re following all tips and leads that we receive,” Lt. Rose said. “We encourage anyone who may know something to come forward.”
Jenn is described as being 5’2”, approximately 230 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.
If you or someone you know has information about the whereabouts of Jennifer Pautenis, call the Hood County Sheriff's Office in Granbury at (817) 579-3307.