Police still looking for missing Colorado girl
Associated Press Writer
GREELEY, Colo. – Four days after a 12-year-old northern Colorado girl disappeared after leaving home to walk to a friend’s birthday party, authorities canvassed her neighborhood Thursday and used dogs to help comb medians, ditches and bushes along a highway for clues.
“We’re hoping against hope that she’s out there, she’s safe and she is just a runaway,” said Sgt. Joe Tymkowych of the police department in Greeley, about 60 miles north of Denver. “But we have to try to figure all the possible propensities of things that could happen and pursue those leads as well.”
So far, he said, authorities have found no evidence that Kayleah (Kay LEE uh) Wilson ran away.
Kayleah left her Greeley home Sunday afternoon to go to a party just across a busy highway from her home, but she never arrived. On Thursday, about 60 police and FBI agents aided in the search for the sixth-grader, whom her mother, April Wilson, described as a “good kid.”
“She never hanged out with the bad crowds,” Wilson said Thursday outside her apartment. “She had her friends. She liked to hang out at the mall, go to the library – you know, typical kid stuff.”
Wilson said she had no information on what may have happened to her daughter but wants her to know, “We love you. We miss you. Just come home. We want you home.”
Police have used dogs to search for Kayleah and have scoured the medians, ditches and bushes along the highway for any sign of what may have happened. Tymkowych said investigators have also interviewed friends, family and acquaintances and have found nothing to indicate she ran away. Police planned to re-interview some of those people Thursday.
Police have contacted the girl’s father, who lives in California, and other family members to advise them that she’s missing and may be contacting them if she ran away, Tymkowych said.
He says Wilson had a boyfriend, who has been interviewed and is cooperating. He is not considered a suspect or person of interest. April Wilson also spent about 12 hours at the police station Wednesday, but Tymkowych said Wilson was there assisting police in the search.
The middle school student is 5-foot-1, weighs 145 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. Authorities say Kayleah has asthma and was believed to be carrying an inhaler. She doesn’t have a cell phone.
April Wilson said her daughter likes the color pink and enjoys pizza, and that her favorite band is called Celtic Thunder.
At Brentwood Middle School a few blocks from Kayleah’s home, teachers wore purple and pink memorial ribbons turned sideways to resemble a “K” for Kayleah.
Science teacher Mandy Skinner described Kayleah as a soft-spoken girl who often kept to herself but participated enthusiastically in group discussion and completed her assignments.
“She’s a typical sixth-grader,” Skinner added.
Kayleah’s case is not the first missing-child case in Greeley. Jonelle Matthews, 12, went missing on Dec. 20, 1984, and was never found. That case remains unsolved.
“That again was one of those situations where we were never able to establish if there was a runaway involved, or if it was an abduction,” Tymkowych said.
FBI Denver field office spokesman Dave Joly said the FBI regularly provides help in investigating possible child abductions.