AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) –
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly half a million children are reported missing each year.
Local teen Jennifer Coffey is one of them.
Kelli Coffey says having children was always a dream.
In 2006, it came true for her and husband David.
She says, “we told our caseworker flat out that we wanted to adopt. i didn’t want to be just a regular foster parent.”
Ten days ago, that dream turned into a parent’s nightmare.
“She came into the house and told me she was going to take the trash out. she left out my side door and that was it,” Coffey explains.
They haven’t seen, or heard from their 15 year old Jennifer, since that day.
“Dad had gotten on our internet provider site that morning and had noticed that a new cell phone had been logged on to our internet. he was supposed to get an alert from our internet provider but he didn’t get one. the one time we needed an alert it didn’t come through. so, she had obviously been on the internet.”
Without a phone number to track.. the teen’s trail has gone cold.
But that hasn’t dampened efforts to find Jennifer.
You see, this mother saved Jennifer and her sisters from a life of despair before.
“The girls had been neglected and abused. it was a pitiful situation. it was really bad.”
Coffey is trying to save her daughter again.
“She’s 15, she’s still a child. i don’t know where she is. i don’t know if she’s dead or alive. i don’t know if she’s safe and she needs to come home. anybody who knows where she is needs to call.”
While this isn’t the first time Jennifer has run away.
Kelli worries it may be the worst.
Last year, when Jennifer was 14 years old she ran away with a 40 year old man. She was gone eleven hours.
“It doesn’t matter if she ran away before or not. the point is she’s gone and she’s only 15 years old and she’s a child.”
Now, as the days continue to increase, so do the family’s worries about their daughter.
Kelli says family members have handed out at least 3-thousand flyers.
Coupled with her countless prayers, Kelli is thinking of new dreams.
This time of her daughter coming home again.
“All I can do at this point is pray. I keep talking to my mom and dad. They’re both deceased now. So, I just pray they’re watching over her. I’ve got to hold on to that that they’re watching over her and god will bring her home.”
Anyone with information on Jennifer Coffey’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 541-1042 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.