FBI, CART continue search for missing autistic teenager

Ashton Talley (Source: Mississippi County Sheriff's Department Facebook page)
Ashton Talley (Source: Mississippi County Sheriff's Department Facebook page)

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies are in Mississippi County helping to search for a missing 18-year-old special needs autistic student as law enforcement continues to follow up leads on the whereabouts of the student.

According to Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook, the FBI and the Arkansas Child Abduction Response Team have been helping to locate Ashton Talley. Mississippi County authorities sent out a Facebook post-Saturday afternoon about the missing teenager.

Cook said the CART team is made up of investigators with the Arkansas State Police and other agencies and are located in different areas of the state.

Talley is a high school senior who was discovered missing around 3:50 a.m. Saturday from a rural residence on Highway 312, south of Blytheville. She was last seen wearing a navy blue or gray hoodie with a black or gray Lynryd Skynyrd T-shirt, with pink and blue striped shorts and white tennis shoes.

She was last seen around 7:30 p.m. Friday at her home and is believed to have received a text message from someone with a Washington state number around 3:15 a.m. Saturday, the post noted.

Talley has black hair, brown eyes and wears glasses. She is 5'2" and weighs 135 pounds.

"It's devastating thinking what this family is going through," resident Barbara Pankey said. "I mean that's what I think of if it was my daughter or my granddaughter, I don't know what. It would just be devastating."

Cook said authorities had received a call Saturday night from the Cape Girardeau, Mo. area that Talley may have been seen at a mall. However, the report turned out to be false.

On Sunday, Blytheville police also asked people for help in locating the teen.

"Ashton is a senior attending the Blytheville KIPP school. Are you a classmate or teacher? If so, think of the conversations and contact you've had with Ashton, maybe there's something she said or did that didn't seem to make sense then could be important now," Blytheville police said in a post on its Facebook page.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department at 870-658-2243 or the Blytheville Crime Stoppers tip line at 844-910-STOP.

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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