Missing Ohio Teen Madison Bell's Car Found in Church Parking Lot With Keys, Phone Inside
The teen was reported missing Sunday morning by her mother after she didn't show up to the tanning salon where she said she was headed.
Authorities in Greenfield, Ohio, are ramping up their search for 18-year-old Madison Bell. The teen was reported missing Sunday morning by her mother after she didn't show up to the tanning salon where she said she was headed, according to the Highland County Sheriff's Office.
Shortly after, Bell's cell phone was geolocated to a church parking lot where it was found inside of her abandoned car with the keys still in the ignition. The car is being treated as a crime scene, authorities said.
Witnesses told police they saw a man with a white vehicle with California plates in the parking lot earlier in the morning, Sheriff Donnie Barrera told InsideEdition.com. Someone reported a car they found nearby that matched the description, but it was cleared by authorities after they determined it belonged to an elderly couple visiting the area, Barrera said. He added that it is still a possibility that there was a different white vehicle with California plates, possibly a Nissan rental car, seen in the parking lot, although it hasn't been located yet.
Hundreds of volunteers, including a trained search and rescue team, gathered Sunday night to search for the teen, but it was paused overnight, the Scioto Valley Guardian reported. They resumed their search Monday morning.
Bell's mother Melissa Montavon gave an emotional plea for her daughter's return in a video taken by the outlet and posted to Facebook.
"I am asking you, Maddie, if you are watching, please come home. We have the whole community here looking for you," Montavon said. "And I'm worried sick. And your family and your dad and your friends and the school and the teachers—we are all looking for you and we are so worried. So please, please come home to us. We love you. And whoever has her, bring her home to her family. This is not right. You don't take her and not bring her home. She needs to be back home home where she's safe."
Highland County officials are working with authorities in neighboring Ross County, where Madison's home is located and where she was last seen, Barrera said. The teen is 5'6" tall with brown hair and brown eyes and also wears grey contact lenses, according to the missing persons report. She has a cross tattoo on her neck and a ghost tattoo on her side.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (937) 393-1421.
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