The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 23, 2013

Our View: Search efforts applauded

Hundreds of volunteers came. Some were on foot. Others rode in on horseback, while others relied on cars and all-terrain vehicles. They all shared one common goal: to bring Adriaunna Horton home.

The 12-year-old girl was reportedly abducted about 5 p.m. Monday while playing at a park about a half-block from her home. Quickly, family, friends and even concerned strangers began to scour the town of Golden City. That search, coordinated by law enforcement officers, took those volunteers out to the prairies and fields surrounding the farming community. Even when the search entered its third day, there was no lack of help or hope.

Adriaunna was known in her community as the girl with the winning smile. And we can only imagine the memory of that smile helped drive the search.

There are times when quick searches end with happy reunions. More often, though, volunteer searchers know the outcome could be tragic.

That measure of tragedy was evident among the volunteers on Wednesday when a body was found in a field near Golden City, and the search was called off.

"We still had hope," said Karla Abeyta, one of the searchers, as she got back to town. "I was praying that she was going to be alive."

Those prayers are still needed as Adriaunna Horton's family faces difficult days ahead. The need for support from family, friends and strangers remains important.

A search continues, only now it has become a search for answers.

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