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Missing banker Aubrey Lee Price confesses he lost $17M of investors' money in purported suicide note

Cross said she is shocked and devastated by the loss of her savings. She owns a food truck that sells arepas, stuffed cornmeal patties popular in some South American countries, but said she will have to sell the truck because she needs the money to live. She can't afford to hire a lawyer and said she doesn't know what she's going to do next.

Relatives of Price and several of his associates mentioned in court documents did not return calls seeking comment. A manager at the bank he directed, which has been purchased by another bank and reopened this week under a different name, said he couldn't comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Price lived with his wife and children in Bradenton, Fla., but bought a home in Valdosta earlier this year, according to authorities. Price had moved his family to the south Georgia city, where his wife's parents live, just a few weeks before he disappeared. There were financial reasons behind the move, but it also appears Price may have been trying to make things easier on his family once he disappeared, Pritchett said.

Pritchett calls the case interesting and peculiar but wouldn't speculate on whether Price is still alive.

"Until we have a body, it's kind of hard to say," Pritchett said. "It's almost like a novel."