Search for missing Joplin girl enters second month


JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s been a little more than a month since Leora Hardee’s friends and family last saw her. The 14-year-old went missing last month just steps away from her home in Joplin.

14-year-old Leora Hardee was last seen on September 17th near D Street and North Wall Avenue in Joplin. Authorities are now looking for answers.

Sgt. William Davis, Joplin Police Department, said, “Investigators to this point are following up on more than a 123 different leads, on the case and their still actively out there trying to find her and get her home safe.”

The search for the teen has gone national.

“We’re fortunate that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children came in to assist.”

The FBI has been called to help as well, but they have been left with more questions than answers. And as each day without the young lady drags on, her family remember Leora as a normal teenage girl.

Chris Cunningham, Leora’s Father, said, “She grew up as a really loving child.”

It hasn’t been easy for her siblings to cope.

Candace Cunningham, Leora’s Step-Mother, said, “It’s been so hard, especially for my youngest daughter, because she’s the same age as Leora. So those two were super, super close. So she’s taking it really hard.”

Facing this tribulation has been a test to their faith, but they are remaining hopeful.

“It’s been hard on everyone. I’m just praying that she’s alive and fine. I don’t believe that she’s not and I won’t believe that she’s not.”

Hardee’s family has a few words for her in hopes she sees this message.

“Leora I love you, daddy loves you. We’re not mad at you, we just want to make sure you are safe. And that you’re warm, you have a place to stay, you’re not hungry. If you are are able to contact us, please just find some way to contact us, somebody, some text, some email, just some way to know you’re ok,” said Chris.

This Friday family members will be organizing a prayer vigil for Leora at King Jack Park in Webb City starting at 6:30 p.m.

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