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Search for missing teen girl continues

October 28th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Megan Allen

LOGAN–The search is continuing for Katie Allison, 17, who went missing while staying at the University Inn with her mother on Oct. 15.

Allison, originally from Racine, Wis., was attending Uinta Academy in Wellsville, a small residential treatment center and academic program for troubled teenage girls, licensed by the State of Utah Department of Human Services. Residents receive therapy and psychiatric help. Each girl is also given a horse they are responsible for during their time at the academy.

Allison had been at Uinta Academy since July. Because of good behavior, she and a few other students, got to spend the night away from campus with their families at the University Inn.

USU Police Captain Steve Milne said Allison left her hotel room around 8 p.m. Friday, telling her mom she was going downstairs to get a magazine.

“She never went back upstairs,” he said.

Allison’s mom, Linda Cornwell, and University Inn staff immediately began looking for her. After a few minutes of searching, University Police were contacted.

Cornwell said she found an entry in her daughter’s journal that said she was planning to hitch rides to Salt Lake City in search of drugs.

The next morning, Cornwell hired a private investigator to help search for Allison.

A website, http://www.findkatieallison.com/, was also created to help get the word out and increase awareness. There is also information about the case available on Facebook, along with contact information if anyone sees or hears from her. Milne said Allison’s information has been entered in national databases, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a national police information network.

Allison is 5-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She wears braces and has two scars, each approximately 1-inch long, near her jaw line. She sometimes wears glasses. She was last seen wearing yoga pants with a zebra waistband, a black T-shirt with a black and white scarf, a wool black pea coat and blue suede loafers.

She did not take her cell phone, ID or any extra clothes with her, Cornwell said.

Since her disappearance, there have been sightings of girls who fit Allison’s description, though none of them have been confirmed. There have been some reports of seeing Allison in Boise, Idaho and Olympia, Wash. Since Wednesday afternoon, Cornwell has received four tips reporting sightings of Allison with two Hispanic males near a homeless shelter in Phoenix.

“She definitely appears to have left the valley, and probably even the state, so that makes it a lot harder to work on,” Milne said. “We have contacted police departments in the cities she has reportedly been seen, and are doing everything we can.”

On her Facebook page, Cornwell said, “Katie, I love you and miss you. Call me any time for any reason.”

In an article in the Racine Journal Times, she said, “She might be afraid we are angry and upset. We just want her back safe.”

Anyone who has any information is being asked to contact USU Police immediately.


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