Police doubt woman in video is missing teen

Police doubt woman in video is missing teen

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Police say they now doubt a woman seen in a welcome center surveillance video is a missing Trumann teen.

Chief Chad Henson tells Region 8 News they have learned in the last few hours that the video released may not be her.

Police released surveillance video Monday of a woman at the Interstate 55 welcome center outside of Blytheville.

After viewing the video, the girl's parents said it was their daughter. However, Henson said his department received a call from a woman who said she was the one in the video and not the teen.

"We're back at square one," Henson told one of our reporters.

Neighbors, as well as investigators from multiple agencies, spent Wednesday in Trumann and Northeast Arkansas looking for the teen. The group knocked on doors, asked questions and walked through the neighborhood Wednesday. They also went to area businesses and gas stations asking to see surveillance video for any clue of her whereabouts.

According to her parents, their 16-year-old daughter escaped through a bedroom window Saturday night and has not been seen or heard from since.

Her parents said the situation is scary, especially noting the fact that she has been missing for at least a day with no sign of activity from their daughter's social media accounts or her cell phone.

"We are day four so, there's no reason to quit. We aren't quitting. We won't quit," the parents said. "We want her found. We want her home. And we can't do it alone."

The investigation into the girl's disappearance has now entered its fourth day. Henson said Trumann police are being helped by the FBI, Arkansas State Police, Jonesboro Police Department, and the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office.

Trumann police also spent Tuesday night searching the family's home, where the girl was last seen, trying to find anything that could lead investigators to where she may be.

"Evidence collected from different locations and communications devices has led investigators to believe that [she] was in contact with multiple males on multiple social media sites," Henson said in Wednesday's update. "[She] appears to have been groomed and mentored by these males. Therefore, due to her age and the graphic nature of the messages, multiple agencies are collectively working towards finding her."

Henson said police will be working to find the teen.

"We are leaving no stone unturned. So, we believe again, that she is alive. We believe her to be with one of these men she's talking to and we are trying to find that location," Henson said.

Henson said authorities will continue searching.

"We are just constantly looking everywhere we can. We are going to be here all night, tomorrow, the next day," Henson said of the search. "Hopefully, we will find her in five minutes, but if we don't, we will continue to look for her."

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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