Parents, officials seek info on missing teens

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2008

The parents of a local teenager are asking the public for helpfollowing their daughter’s disappearance.

The parents of 17-year-old Vanessa King say they haven’t seentheir daughter since March 11, when she left their home with herboyfriend, 18-year-old William Townsend.

While the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is stillclassifying the incident as a runaway case, Vanessa’s mother LeahKing said she just wants to know for sure that her daughter, astudent at Brookhaven High School, has not been harmed.

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“We want someone to come forward if they’ve seen them,” shesaid. “When we go to bed every night, we lay there wondering. Wejust want to know she is still alive.”

Vanessa King is described as being about 5’1″ tall and around145 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. Her parents said she didnot take any clothing with her when she left.

Townsend’s parents asserted they do not know where the teensare, but said shortly after the two went missing their son hadcalled to let them know he was OK. Townsend’s mother also said herson did not happen to mention whether or not King was with him.

“He called and told us that he was staying with a friend for alittle while,” said Melissa Townsend. “My son’s 18 years old, andhe’s allowed to leave and we can’t do anything about it.”

Leah King said someone has to know something about thewhereabouts of the young couple, and is asking for anyone with anyinformation to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office or thefamily.

Flyers have been distributed to area gas stations and otherpublic areas, but they have been disappearing, said Leah King. Shesaid she is just trying to keep the word out that the family isstill looking for her daughter.

Chief Deputy Johnny Hall said he and other investigators havebeen working around the clock to locate anyone who might haveknowledge of the missing teenagers.

“We’ve been working on this tirelessly for over two weeks …,”Hall said. “I know it’s hard for the families of these kids, andwe’re doing everything in our power to locate them.”

Hall said that it is important that anyone who has anyinformation to call the sheriff’s department as soon aspossible.

“They need to call us just as soon as they see them, don’twait,” he said.

Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of Vanessa King orWilliam Townsend may call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Departmentat (601) 833-5231.