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Entries in Missing Girl (38)

Saturday
Jun082013

Police Locate Body of Missing 15-Year-Old Girl

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(BOONE, Iowa) -- A body pulled from the Des Moines River on Friday evening is likely that of missing 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard.

Shepard was abducted in May by Michael Klunder, a convicted sex offender who later committed suicide. Asked why Klunder was free, Gerard Meyers of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said, "That's a fair question, and I think it's being asked here in Iowa. It's probably going to be asked nationally and it's definitely going to get some attention."

Authorities received a call at about 7 p.m. from people fishing, saying that they had found a body in the river under the Kate Shelley High Bridge. According to the Des Moines Register, the body was found wearing clothing that was consistent with what Shepard was reportedly wearing at the time of her abduction.

Authorities also told the Des Moines Register that zip ties were found on the body.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar272013

Police Locate Missing 10-Year-Old Girl in California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A young girl who disappeared from her bedroom late Tuesday night was found in Woodland Hills, Calif., according to police.

The 10-year-old girl had apparently disappeared from her bed at  approximately 3:30 in the morning.  After a house-to-house search she re-appeared -- seemingly out of nowhere -- close to 12 hours later at a Chevron gas station.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, there was no sign of forced entry at the girl's home. However, the back door was left unlocked and a side gate was found to be open.

According to LAPD Captain Chris Pitcher, a suspect took the girl from her home and later dropped her off.

This young girl was taken to an area hospital to be checked out, as she has cuts and bruises. Police are now investigating multiple crime scenes and searching for the person who took the young girl.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct112012

Body Found Near Home of Missing Colorado Girl

Westminster PD(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- Investigators in the case of missing Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway announced Wednesday that a body was found in Arvada, Colo., just a few miles from the 10-year-old’s home in Westminster.

Investigators have yet to identify the body, but three sources told ABC News that investigators have reasons to believe it is Jessica, stressing that a positive identification will take time.

Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso said the body was discovered in a park space.

“The Arvada Police Department and Westminster Police Department are working jointly with additional resources to process that crime scene,” Materasso told reporters Wednesday evening.  “At this time, we’re unable to make any connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway.  That crime scene will exist through the evening and into tomorrow morning.”

Earlier Wednesday, authorities cleared Jessica’s parents as suspects in her disappearance.

“At this point in the investigation, after thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident that they’re not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,” said Materasso. “The focus shifts to an unknown suspect, as we think that she was abducted.”

Sarah Ridgeway told police she last saw her daughter last Friday morning when Jessica left for school in Westminster. The fifth-grader never showed up at a nearby park where she was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school.

The school called to report Jessica absent, but Sarah Ridgeway told police she was asleep during the day because she works overnights and did not get the call until eight hours later, when she called police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct092012

Jessica Ridgeway Disappearance: Girl's Parents Profess Innocence

Westminster PD(DENVER) -- The parents of missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday and denied any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter, calling her "the rock" in their lives.

"I know I didn't do anything. Everybody that's here knows I didn't do anything," Jessica's mom Sarah Ridgeway said, surrounded by 10 family members, including Jessica's father, Jeremiah Bryant. "Nobody in this room did anything to harm her or a tiny hair on her little head.

"If they have to eliminate me, go right ahead," she said. "I know it's something that has to get done. They have to get it out of there."

Bryant said FBI investigators asked him whether he believed Jessica's mother could have anything to do with her disappearance, and he said no, as he was sure she had said when asked about him.

"I don't see how any parent could do something like that to their child," he said.

Jessica Ridgeway vanished Friday when she left to walk three blocks from her Westminster, Colo., home to meet friends for the walk to school. It was a route she took every day, but this time she never got there.

When Ridgeway didn't show up for class, school officials called her home, but because Sarah Ridgeway works the overnight shift at a tech company, she was asleep. She didn't get the message until later, which delayed her calling police.

An Amber Alert was issued Oct. 5 for the 10-year-old, nearly eight hours after she disappeared.

Ridgeway said Jessica loves school and would never miss it, so she knew something was wrong when she got the call. Ridgeway described losing hope little by little as she went to all of Jessica's favorite places -- the park, her friend's house, school -- and discovered that her daughter was not at any of those places.

Police say Jessica's father, who lives out of state, is in a custody battle with Jessica's mother. But both parents were present for the interview and held hands with family members from both sides of their families.

They described a bright and happy 10-year-old girl who loved school, especially math and physical education.

Jessica Ridgeway's backpack and water bottle were found on Sunday, six miles from where she was last seen. Police say the backpack is vital evidence in a case that has precious few leads.

Sarah Ridgeway said the discovery of the backpack and water bottle gave her "a sliver of hope" because she thought that if something "really bad" had happened to her daughter the bag would not be sitting in plain sight.

The Colorado Crime Lab is processing the backpack for possible DNA evidence.

The search for Ridgeway expanded Monday with more than 100 people combing roadsides and rocky terrain. Meanwhile, police are checking reports that three weeks ago a suspicious man was seen approaching children.

The parents both said that they had no idea who could have wanted to harm their little girl and thanked authorities and volunteers for all of their help.

The family said they are holding on to hope and have prepared Jessica's room for her return, complete with the "nest" she likes to build on the top bunk of her bunk bed -- a cozy structure made of a sleeping bag and stuffed animals.

When asked what message she would like to send her daughter, Sarah Ridgeway said, "You know that your family is strong. We'll be there forever and we will do anything to find you. You are strong. We know you're strong and you can fight this and we are fighting for you, too. And we love her and we'll never stop loving her no matter what happens. We'll lover her forever and ever. We just want her home."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep192012

Missing Alabama Teen Allegedly Kidnapped by Mom, Stepdad

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(DOTHAN, Ala.) -- A teen girl who disappeared from Alabama state custody Monday has allegedly been kidnapped by her stepfather and mother, who are the subjects of an FBI manhunt.

Police in Dothan, Ala., were alerted Monday by Alabama Human Resources staff members that Ailene Lander, 15, had disappeared from their custody. Ailene was under court-ordered custody of Human Resources, according to Dothan police Sgt. Rachel David.

Police would not disclose why the girl was in state custody.

Ailene was reported missing after a visit to a medical appointment at Southeast Alabama Medical Center Monday, where she and Human Resources staff members saw Ailene's stepfather, Charles Partin. Ailene then disappeared from the hospital.

Police and FBI agents in Alabama said they believe the girl's mother, Julie Bethke, and her five siblings are also likely with Ailene and her stepfather.

Authorities believe the family might be traveling in an older-model light-blue Mercury Villager.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Clues for Missing Tucson Girl Sought in Surveillance Video

ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The answer to how 6-year-old Isabel Celis disappeared from her Tucson home last Saturday may be found in surveillance videos from neighboring houses and stores, police said Wednesday.

One camera is attached to a home just 75 yards away and points directly at the Celis family's house, while others are attached to nearby businesses. Police hope they could yield clues to the girl's overnight disappearance.

Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. Saturday after her mother left for work and her father went to wake her up. The child was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, police said.

The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. Friday, when she was put to bed, he said.

On Wednesday, police will extend their search for the girl to drainage and water systems in the nearby area, Tucson police chief Roberto Villasenor said at a press conference.

During the prior four days, police have scoured the neighborhood for clues, searching nearby homes and a landfill where trash was taken the day of Celis's disappearance.

FBI-trained search dogs, including one cadaver dog, were brought into the family's home where they hit upon something that police said was important to the investigation.

On Tuesday night, an FBI team specializing in behavior profiles searched the Celis family home and interviewed the family members. The family is now allowed back in their home following the search, but has not yet returned, Villasenor said.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr242012

Missing Tucson Girl's Family Allowed Back in Home

ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The family of a missing 6-year-old girl, Isabel Mercedes Celis, from Tucson will be allowed to reenter their home Tuesday after police finished searching for evidence and clues to the girl's Saturday disappearance.

Police wrapped up their search early Tuesday morning after serving their final search warrant on the home around 1:30 a.m., Sgt. Marco Borboa of the Tucson police department said Tuesday.

Investigators had previously found the girl's bedroom window opened and the screen removed while searching the home this weekend, and FBI-trained dogs "hit upon" something during one of the searches.

Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. Saturday after Celis' mother left for work and her father went to wake her up. The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. Friday, when she was put to bed, he said.

Police say they have received more than 200 leads on the case in the past two days, in addition to tips received on Saturday, immediately after the disappearance. Investigators are still combing through those leads, Borboa said Tuesday.

For the past three days, Tucson police have focused on a three mile radius of the girl's home, knocking on doors and speaking to neighbors, in addition to searching a nearby landfill. Garbage from the Celis family's neighborhood was collected on the Saturday morning of Isabel's disappearance and taken to the landfill, police said.

Police also searched the homes of a number of residences close to where Isabel disappeared, including one home on the same street as the girl's house.

Police would not say which residences were searched, but did acknowledge that more than 15 registered sex offenders live within a three mile radius of the family's home, including at least one who lives in the immediate vicinity.

Police have not ruled out the parents of the missing child as suspects.

"We are investigating all of the parties involved," he said Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr232012

Missing Arizona Girl: K-9s Find Clue in House

ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The search for missing 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis intensified Monday after specially trained police dogs found something in the girl's home, which piqued investigators' interests.

"We have information we obtained from the dogs that has necessitated more follow-up investigation," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said Monday.

Police have evacuated the Celis family from their home after the FBI-trained dogs found something during a search overnight.

Isabel was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. Saturday after the girl’s mother had left for work and her father went to wake her up. The child was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, Villasenor said.

The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. Friday, when she was put to bed, he said.

Police upgraded the search from a missing child to a possible abduction this weekend, and have not ruled out the parents of the missing child as suspects.

Ground and air searches for the girl will continue Monday. More than 250 people have helped search the area around the Celis' Tucson neighborhood this weekend, including canvassing neighbors to ask about any possible leads.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec282011

Indiana Babysitter Who Killed 9-Year-Old Girl to Appear in Court

Michael Plumadore in a 2000 mugshot. Dade County Sheriff Dept.(FORT WAYNE, Ind.) -- The babysitter charged with killing a 9-year-old girl who had disappeared from an Indiana trailer park will appear in court Friday, the first chance prosecutors will have to explain why he allegedly killed and then dismembered the girl's body.

Michael Plumadore, 39, "freely admitted" that in the "early morning hours" last Thursday, he struck Aliahna Lemmon in the head multiple times with a brick "while she was standing on the front steps of his residence," according to a police affidavit.

He later dismembered her body and kept her head, feet and hands in his freezer, according to the affidavit.

He allegedly put the girl's body in several trash bags and stuffed her in a freezer until nighttime came. He worked past midnight dismembering Aliahna's body with a hack saw, the affidavit states. He allegedly put the pieces in garbage bags and tossed them in a dumpster of a nearby business, but kept her head, hands and feet in his freezer.

Plumadore shuffled into court for his initial hearing Tuesday, manacled at this feet and hands. He was ordered held without bail, police said.

Plumadore did not tell police why he killed the young girl.

Plumadore, who had been babysitting Aliahna and her two sisters for a week because their mother was ill, initially told police that he has last seen Aliahna sleeping in his trailer on Friday but didn't alert police to her disappearance until Friday night because he believed she had gone home to her mother.

Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said the girl's body was found after 9 p.m. Monday night.

Plumadore was arrested after his third interview with police, Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel told ABC News.

Fries said Plumadore has a criminal record in North Carolina and Florida.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Babysitter Kept Missing Girl Aliahna Lemmon's Head in His Freezer

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FORT WAYNE, Ind.) -- The babysitter charged with killing a 9-year-old girl who disappeared from an Indiana trailer park dismembered her body and kept her head, feet and hands in his freezer, according to a police affidavit.

Michael Plumadore, 39, shuffled into court Tuesday, manacled at this feet and hands. He was ordered held without bail, police said. He was escorted by two Allen County police officers. There were additional officers in the courtroom for extra security.

He was jailed in the death of Aliahna Lemmon, 9, who disappeared from a Fort Wayne trailer park where she lived last week.

A police affidavit submitted to the court Tuesday stated that Plumadore "freely admitted" that in the "early morning hours" last Thursday, he struck Aliahna in the head multiple times with a brick "while she was standing on the front steps of his residence."

<< READ THE AFFIDAVIT IN ITS ENTIRETY >>

He put the girl's body in several trash bags and stuffed her in a freezer until nighttime came. He worked past midnight dismembering Aliahna's body with a hack saw, the affidavit, obtained by ABC News, states. He put the pieces in garbage gas and tossed them in a dumpster of a nearby business, but kept her head, hands and feet in his freezer.

Plumadore did not tell police why he killed the young girl.

Plumadore, who had been babysitting Aliahna and her two sisters for a week because their mother was ill, initially told police that he has last seen Aliahna sleeping in his trailer on Friday but didn't alert police to her disappearance until Friday night because he believed she had gone home to her mother.

Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said the girl's body was found after 9 p.m. Monday night.

Plumadore was arrested after his third interview with police, Cpl. Jeremy Tinkel told ABC News.

Fries said Plumadore has a criminal record in North Carolina and Florida. 

Plumadore's next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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