12-year-old Safford girl goes missing after going for a walk

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Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 8:06 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 30, 2022 at 1:23 PM MST
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SAFFORD, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Graham County Sheriff’s Office says they are looking for a girl who went missing after reportedly going for a walk last week. The Arizona Department of Public Safety asked the public to be on the lookout early Saturday morning.

Deputies say that a 12-year-old girl had gone for a walk around 11 a.m. last Sunday, but she didn’t return. The family began looking for her around 6 p.m., but her father reported her missing to the sheriff’s office around 8 p.m. She was last seen in Safford, but authorities haven’t said what area she left from.

“It’s hard just sitting and waiting, I feel helpless. Can’t do anything,” Justin Taylor, her father said.

Justin said his father started searching for the young girl Sunday night and hasn’t stopped. “We’ve gone over the stranger danger, the internet, and social media, been warning her,” Justin explained.

“For her to be gone this long, it’s been really, really hard,” Marlene Smith, her cousin said. “We just love her so much and we want her home safe,” she continued.

The Graham County Sheriff’s Office is heading up the investigation. They informed DPS of the case a few days ago. “The fact that she’s been gone as long as she has and there’s been no contact whatsoever we obviously are extremely concerned,” Undersheriff Jeff McCormies said.

The family said authorities are trying to gain access to her tablet and her Facebook account. Justin said his daughter moved to Safford with him at the beginning of the school year. Her mother and twin sister live in Kansas. They plan to drive to Safford Sunday to assist in the search. “We just love her so much and we want her home safe,” Smith said.

Authorities say Taylor has been entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person. Deputies have not said if they are looking for anyone in connection to her disappearance.

Authorities describe the girl as a white girl, 5 feet 5 inches, 135 pounds, and brown hair and red highlights. She was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, baseball cap, blue jeans, turquoise, and pink Van’s shoes and could have a purple Jansport backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 928-428-3141.

Editor’s Note: This article was modified on March 30, 2022, to remove the identity of the 12-year-old girl. Arizona’s Family will no longer reveal the girl’s identity in an effort to protect her.