Police Searching for Missing Junior High Student

May 13, 2003
Posted at: 5:00 p.m. CDT
Updated at: 11:40 p.m. CDT

WYNNE, Ark. -- Cross County searchers are on the lookout for a missing junior high student from Wynne.

A spokesman with the Wynne Police Department told K8 News that authorities are searching the Village Creek State Park for Iola Danielle Pulley, a missing sixth-grader from Wynne Junior High School. Over 100 volunteers and police are searching the park just south of the Wynne city limits.

Students on the same field trip as Pulley say school leaders noticed the girl was missing when she didn't answer roll call on the bus. Not long after school workers realized pulley was missing, family members and friends got the news.

"They have the dogs out," cousin Tamika Richardson said. "But as far as we know right now, we haven't found her. She hasn't been found. She has not been found. There hasbeen no trace of her."

Many family and friends gathered at the home of grandmother Iola Pulley for a prayer, doing the only thing in their power they say can help comfort the missing 12-year-old. It was one year ago this coming Saturday that her daughter, Iola Danielle's mother, was laid to rest.

"We're all friends," family friend Wilbur Reed said. "Everybody in Wynne mostly knows everybody, so we're all friends and support each other."

There are a lot of volunteers that were waiting to go into the woods surrounding the park, but they were not allowed at first because an infrared camera from above was being used. Arkansas State Police troopers attempted to use the heat given off from Pulley's body to try to locate the sixth grader.

Cross County Sheriff Ronnie Baldwin told KAIT that, as the skies became dark, the air search was stopped. The ground search, however, would continue through the night.

About 80 honor roll students from Wynne Junior High were here on the field trip, a reward for their hard academic work.

"It's sad, because she's one of my good friends," classmate Candi Heard said.

"I know her," sister Brandi Heard added. "I wouldn't imagine that it would have happened to her."

The 12-year-old Pulley reportedly became separated from her classmates Tuesday afternoon while on a field trip to the park.

"They probably realized it within 15 to 20 minutes," Assistant Superintendent Kathy Lee said.

Pulley is described as a black female between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-6 inches in height, weighing 160 lbs., and wearing a white pullover shirt with green and white polka dot shorts.

The field trip covered the Swing Bridge Trail at the park. Members of the Wynne Police and Fire Departments, the Cross County Sheriff's Department, and the Arkansas State Police are among those searching for the girl.

The incident marks the second time in the past three weeks in which a Cross County child has been the subject of a manhunt. Three-year-old Justin Sides was found in the same area in late April after wandering into a nearby forest and remaining lost overnight.