The search for missing 14-year-old Leora Hardee will continue after local and federal authorities were unsuccessful in locating her Tuesday on the second consecutive day of foot searches in north Joplin.
Joplin police Capt. William Davis told the Globe that there were no findings from searches Monday or Tuesday. He said late Tuesday that investigators were planning their next move and could have an announcement Wednesday.
Eleven days after her disappearance, dozens of law enforcement representatives from the FBI, Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Joplin Police Department, Carthage Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children began conducting a series of intensive searches in three locations. Search dogs were also being used.
One area is centered northeast of Ozark Christian College. A second area is west of Main Street. The third area includes the mine tailings area formerly known as Snowball along North Schifferdecker Avenue.
Leora, who was last seen in the area of D Street and North Wall Avenue, which is encompassed by the neighborhood where she lives, is described as being about 5 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighing 100 pounds, has brown hair, and wears glasses. She may be in need of medications, according to police.
Davis said the Joplin High School student was not required to attend and did not attend school the day of her disappearance, which is currently operating on a pandemic-related split schedule. Police reported that the girl was last seen at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 by her mother, Leta Hardee. When the mother returned home at about 4:30 p.m., she reported her missing to the Joplin Police Department, police said.
The Joplin Police Department is being assisted by the FBI, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, the Webb City Police Department, the Carthage Police Department and the Jasper County prosecuting attorney’s office.