JOPLIN, Mo. — A little more than a month ago, Leora Hardee, 14, of Joplin, was reported missing near the area of D and North Wall. It’s the North Heights Neighborhood, near where Leora and her family live.
September 17, Joplin Police immediately began their investigation to locate the teen. Since then FBI specialized investigators, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and dozens of agencies have joined the investigation. However every lead or direction they take, it seems there are still no answers.
We talked to Leta Hardee, Leora’s mother, who is navigating trying to locate her missing daughter, yet still raising two children at home and working. She told us that it’s hard. She does a lot of praying through the day.
- SB: It’s been over a month, where is a mother’s heart right now?
- Mom: It’s broken. I miss her a lot. I wish that I knew… (emotional pause) … if she was ok. If she’s in a safe place. I just really want to know if she’s ok.
- SB: Take us back to that day she went missing. What led up to that?
- Mom: It was an off day for her from school. I had seen her when I came home from work. We talked a little bit and I asked her if she had gotten her homework done so far, [Leora] said, ‘yeah I’m just waiting on my science, so I can get that done.’ She went to the bathroom, while she was in the bathroom I knocked on the door. I told her [through the door] goodbye I love you, I’ll see you when I get home from work. ‘bye mom I love you too, see you later,’ and that was it (emotional pause).
- SB: Leora is listening right now. What would you tell her?
- Mom: That I miss her. And I love her. And I just want to know that she’s ok. She’s not in any trouble, I just really need to know she’s ok.
Friday evening, 6:30 PM, the community is welcome to King Jack Park in Webb City, near the praying hands, where they will be: Praying for Leora.
If you know any information contact the Joplin Police Department. 417-623-3131, press 0, ask for the officer on duty. Or if it’s immediate information call 911. You can also CLICK HERE to send a non-emergency FB messenger message to JPD.