COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A community is in fear after a teenage girl disappeared from her own backyard, but police say the case might not be what it seems.
Columbus police said they do not think The Graham School senior Dorothy Coxson left her home unwillingly. But an administrator at her school said not only is Dorothy a great student, she’s a leader, and the last thing she would do is run away.
“I’m scared,” said Coxson’s sister, Ameri’ca Harrison. “I’m afraid someone’s hurting her.”
Harrison and the rest of Coxson’s family had no idea where the 17-year-old girl was on Monday night as nearly a hundred loved ones gathered to plead and pray for Coxson’s safe return.
Her family said she was picking tomatoes Thursday afternoon in her backyard when she vanished, leaving behind her cell phone and purse.
“She’s not a troubled child,” Harrison said. “She has no reason to run away. She’s in a home with people who love her.”
Retired Baltimore Police Officer Brian Butterfield has known Dorothy since she was a baby. He spent Monday night walking a back alley behind her house looking for clues. He hopes Columbus Police take every lead seriously.
“Help resolve this before we end up with a tragic sex trafficking case here or dead child,” said Butterfield.
Columbus police said they’re investigating but don’t have supporting evidence that Dorothy was taken against her will. Police said there have been credible sightings of the teenager, even seen walking alone on Hiawatha Street on Monday.
Pam Boseker, enrollment coordinator at The Graham School, said she’s a good kid who stays out of trouble.
“She goes to bible study; she has friends,” said Boseker. “She’s a trustworthy young lady. She was taken,.”
Dorothy is about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She was last seen wearing jeans and a striped shirt. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police.