Rumors abound over the fate of a missing Riverside woman.

Kelly Henderson Howard, 41, of Pell City disappeared from her place of work over a month ago and still her whereabouts are unknown.

Riverside Police confirm they have “a person or persons of interest” in connection with Howard’s disappearance.

Riverside police reported that Howard was last seen leaving work around 1 p.m. on June 2.

Mrs. Howard worked as a dental hygienist at Family Dentistry in Riverside for the past six years.

On the day of her disappearance, Mrs. Howard’s car was found in the dental clinic’s parking lot on Highway 78, but her personal belongings were missing.

According to law enforcement, Mrs. Howard’s credit cards, ATM card and cell phone have not been used since her June disappearance. Several people inside the investigation have expressed concern that the absences of activity on her cards or phone are bad omens in a missing persons case.

The dental office, at which Mrs. Howard was employed, owned by Dr. Rick Mitchell, remained unopened from the day after Mrs. Howard’s disappearance until June 29. The Mitchells’, as of publication, did not return repeated calls and voice mails and on July 1, the dental office closed again.

Riverside City Council member Rachelle Painter (a patient of Family Dentistry in Riverside] said that she and her family visited the Mitchell’s dentist office on Monday, June 29, and that they were treated with friendly and professional service.

“They are the best people,” said Painter, “Rick, Angela [Mrs. Mitchell] and Kelly.”

Painter says that she has heard all the rumors surrounding the case but remains hopeful that Kelly will return home to her family. “I want to believe the best in people and I am praying that Kelly will come home to her family,” said Painter. “The family deserves closure.”

Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup said that the town’s leaders are still hoping and praying for Kelly Howard and her family. “This is a situation that has our whole town very, very concerned,” said Jessup.

Jessup also went on to say he wanted thank Sheriff Terry Surles and the St. Clair Sheriff’s Office for their help with the investigation. “We’re asking everybody to be patient. Progress is being made in this case. Although it may not look like it; very positive progress is being made,” said Jessup.

Riverside Police Chief Rick Oliver said that they have some strong leads and are following them vigorously; he also asked that the public call his office with any possible information concerning Mrs. Howard’s disappearance.

Mrs. Howard is originally from the Anniston/Oxford area. She graduated from Wellborn High School.

Kelly Howard was reported missing by her husband, Boyd Howard June 2.

Anyone with information about Howard or her disappearance should call 205-884-3333.

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