Missing girl's family pleads for her to return

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Investigators in Roanoke County are starting to get desperate as they run out of options in their search for a missing 12-year-old girl.

Investigators believe Brittany Mae Smith is with her mother's boyfriend, 32-year-old Jeffery Easley.

Easley's mother has already made a public plea for her son to bring Brittany home safe. Wednesday, it was Brittany's family trying to convince her to find a way home.

Four relatives from her father's side of the family held a press conference asking Brittany to come home for Christmas.

While police have been reluctant to describe the nature of the girl's relationship with Easley, the fact that a plea was made directly to her would lead one to believe that she has some control over her situation.

Police issued an amber alert for the 12-year-old on Monday.

Authorities found the body of Brittany's 41-year-old mother, Tina Smith, at her home in Salem.

You could sense the frustration in Roanoke County Police Chief Ray Lavinder's voice.

"We are guardedly optimistic that we may be able to locate them, but we simply do not know where they are at this time. We are just pursing all the leads," said Lavinder.

More than 300 leads have come in, but not one of them could be described as positive confirmation of a citing of the two.

Lavinder said it seems like they have "fallen off the face of the earth."

One new piece of information police told people to be on the look out for was a small blue tent.

The idea that the two may be hiding by camping in sub-freezing temperatures is literally a chilling thought.

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