Dixie County and neighboring county residents joined forces to help bring missing teen home

Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 10:07 PM EST
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OLD TOWN, Fla. (WCJB) -More than 40 people from Dixie and Levy County came out to help with the search for 14-year-old Demiah Appling.

Appling has been missing since October 16. Dixie county sheriff deputies reported that the teen was last seen in Suwannee Gardens before getting into a vehicle in the Hammocks neighborhood.

RELATED: Residents of Dixie County looking for help to search for missing teen, Demiah Appling

After being missing for almost a month now, civilians decided to take the search into their own hands.

Kim Weeks, who set up the ‘Find Demiah Appling’ Facebook page, said she wanted to help when she noticed the teen was missing after a week.

“I didn’t feel like enough was being done by the community. Law enforcement was doing all they could do but it takes a village,” said Weeks. “I created the ‘Find Demiah Appling’ Facebook page and just recruited these volunteers to come help us and look for her.”

Tammi Jones with Jager Investigations and Lori Miller with 10-98 investigations saw the post on Facebook and volunteered their resources to help Demiah’s family. The duo is not involved in the investigation process of the case.

“My personal reason is the family does not have the resource to get out here on foot and search this large county,” said Jones. “So without the county coming together and neighboring counties coming together to help each other, it’s a lesser chance of bringing her home.”

Owner of Sky Monkey Dronography Jason Rathay volunteered to use his drones to search areas that were forbidden or hard to search on foot.

“We saw it on Facebook and nobody needs to have their child missing and not have closure on what could be,” said Rathay. “This child could be out here and we’re just, maybe get lucky and find her and that’s what we’re going to try to do.

After hours of searching, the search party was unable to find anything linked to her disappearance. However, those who helped with the search said they won’t stop until they find Demiah.

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