Search continues for Joplin teen

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JOPLIN, Mo. — The search continues for a Joplin teen who hasn’t been seen for several days. Officers and deputies, along with federal investigators, combed a large area of town Monday.

Monday morning, law enforcement agents — including the FBI — searched the wooded areas Northeast of the Ozark Christian College Campus, as well as the North side of Joplin for 14-year-old Leora Hardee. Hardee was last seen on September 17th near D Street and North Wall Avenue in Joplin.

She’s five foot one,100 pounds, wears glasses, and has sandy brown hair. Her family is desperate for her to come home.

Vicky Cunningham, Leora’s Grandmother, said, “Leora, It’s your nana, we’re just reaching out to you today, to tell you how much we love you and how much we miss you, are you safe? are you warm? are you hungry, these are the things that are running rough our minds right now, if you could just answer those questions for us, that’s all we could hope for as for, thank you, and I miss your face.”

Captain William Davis, Joplin Police Department, said, “With the assistance of the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, we’ve developed a couple of search areas here in town, kind of the next step in the process is to go through on foot and search for any clues that may lead to help investigators finding her and bringing her home.”

Lt. Scott Stanley, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, said, “Well Joplin Police Department requested that we provide some personnel to help search, we’re currently over on the west part of the county searching some chats, we have four posse members on horseback.”

Authorities say because of how long Hardee has been missing, they are concerned for her safety.

“Since she’s been missing since September 17th that extended period of time really a lot of the reason why we believe she’s probably in danger,” said Davis.

If you know anything on Hardee’s whereabouts, you’re urged to call Joplin Police at 417-623-3131.

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