FBI Joins Search for Missing Teen
Local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking for an endangered runaway.
Emma Mae Sears, 14, of Fort Smith, was last seen on July 4 after going to visit her boyfriend and his family in Winslow, according to her mom, Angela Smither.
“I just want her home. That’s it. I want my baby home,” said Smither as she looked at her daughter’s missing poster.
“I talked to her July 4th. I’d seen her earlier that day,” said Smither, who continued on to say that Emma wanted to go watch fireworks with friends in Winslow.
Later that night, Sears called her mom and asked her if it would be okay if she went with those friends to Missouri.
Smither told her daughter no, and that she needed to come home that night.
Sears never came back home.
Smither told 5NEWS she thinks Emma got in the car with her friends and her 19-year-old boyfriend, who she didn’t know about until after Emma went missing.
Smither says following her daughter’s disappearance, she has received texts from the boyfriend’s family that make her believe her daughter is in danger.
One text, sent July 5th, reads: ‘You’ve gotta be here to enjoy this’, sent from a member of the boyfriend’s immediate family.
“I still (haven’t) figured out what that one meant. I can’t wrap my head around that one at all,” said Smither.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
The FBI has been brought into the case since there is reason to believe the missing teen has crossed state lines into Missouri, said Lt. Emily Augustine. The teen is believed to be in Southern Missouri in or near the towns of Monett and Cassville, Augustine said.
She is apparently in the company of acquaintances, Augustine said.
“She’s possibly endangered,” Augustine said.
If you have any information on the girl’s whereabouts call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (479) 444-5700.