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Emotions run high in case of missing child

January 12, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

There are few things more intriguing than a mystery. In recent years, stories of people who've gone missing have garnered much public attention.

In our area, possibly the most-talked- about case is that of missing toddler Aliayah Lunsford. The child was last seen at her home in south Weston on Sept. 24. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have scoured the area, talked with various residents and gathered other information. While investigators believe the incident to be a crime, still there is no answer to the girl's disappearance.

Since the day little Aliayah was reported missing and her picture was released to the media and printed on posters, the 3-year-old has captured the hearts of people throughout the nation. Social networks and media outlets have received hundreds of postings. Charitable organizations have hosted fundraisers and paid tribute with displays.

On Tuesday, the child's mother, Lena Lunsford, appeared in U.S. District Court on an unrelated matter. Demonstrators displayed posters outside the courthouse in Elkins and throughout the downtown area. Some of them called out to the woman demanding to know the whereabouts of the child. The concern in their voices echoed that heard in many conversations throughout our communities.

Police continue their investigation, but have released no new information in several weeks. Meanwhile, the public is growing more anxious. Cases such as these are not often solved in a short time. For that, we must remain patient.

More importantly, we have to stand vigilant. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the return of the child and the arrest and conviction of those involved in her disappearance. Even a small bit of information that may not seem relevant could be a big help to law enforcement. Anyone with information or who sees anything that may contribute to solving this mystery is urged to call 304-558-4831. Callers may remain anonymous.



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