Reachelle Marie Smith

Claim:   A 3-year-old girl named Reachelle Marie Smith is missing from her Minot, North Dakota, home.

Status:   True.  

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]

Please look out for this little one.

AMBER ALERT!!!!! Body: I need everyones help!!!! Please repost this
ASAP. This is the daughter of a very close personal friend. Her worst
nightmare came true as a parent. Her little girl was abducted by what
they thought was a family friend. We need to get the word around so we
can get this sweet little girl back to her family. Follow the
instructions at the bottom to repost this message please!!

BEFORE YOU SKIP THIS, LOOK AT THE KID. DO IT AGAIN. NOW TRY TO REPOST. IT TAKES 10 SECONDS. PEOPLE ARE MISSING HER AND SHE WANTS TO BE HOME. DO
SOMETHING GOOD.

(701)852-0111.





Origins:   The
above-quoted message is a legitimate missing child alert. The girl
pictured, 3-year-old Reachelle Marie Smith, has been missing from her home in Minot, North Dakota, since mid-May 2006, and an Amber Alert was issued for her on 22 May 2006.

Initial reports indicated that Reachelle was believed to be in the company of a 22-year-old man named Leigh Cowen,
who lived with Reachelle’s aunt, her legal guardian. However, Cowen has
since been found dead of an apparent suicide, and Reachelle has not yet
been located.

Reachelle’s case has been profiled on the America’s Most Wanted television program, and although the case remains open, authorities say they now have few leads to go on, and the active search for her has effectively ended:

Cops in Minot,
N.D., are now searching for new clues that will lead them to Reachelle
Smith. Investigators say they initially thought the little girl may
have been traveling with 22-year-old Leigh Cowen. But any hopes of
finding the 3-year-old with him vanished when cops found Cowen’s dead
body following what appeared to be a suicide.

Unfortunately, the discovery of Cowen’s body didn’t shed any
light on where Reachelle might be. But that doesn’t mean investigators
are giving up. As of May 26th, a force of 200 searchers continued the mission to find the little girl.

Search teams scoured parks, a local river and a city landfill in hopes
of finding clues. The National Guard also joined the search.

But following the weekend search, police say the search is taking a new
turn — things are starting to wind down in the search for little
Reachelle. Investigators say the fact that they’ve received few new
leads is putting a damper on their mission.

Reachelle Smith was last seen at her house on Tuesday, May 16, 2006, at about 10:30 p.m., when she was put to bed. She is about 3′ feet tall and weighs about 40 pounds. She has brown eyes and straight, light brown hair.

Last updated:   14 June 2006

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