EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNEW SEARCH, NEW REWARD
from Eyewitness News Online
National Recovery Team In Weston Searching For Aliayah Lunsford
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Feb. 6, 2012 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 8, 2012 12:33 PM EST
Weston , Lewis County , West Virginia
New developments in the search for a missing Lewis County toddler.
Aliayah Lunsford, 3, went missing from her Bendale home on September 24, 2011.
On Monday, search efforts resumed, and a new reward is on the table in the case.
A nationally known search and rescue crew just arrived in Weston. They are called P.P.P. Recovery, and are a national program of Patriot Outreach.
P.P.P's group has made it their mission to find Aliayah, and bring closure to a case that's made few known strides almost five months later.
Rachel Jackson is the national director and founder of P.P.P. which stands for "Ponies, Patriots, People." They're a non-profit agency that specializes in finding missing people. Jackson says they rescue horses, ponies, and dogs, with the help of patriots, who in turn, find the missing people.
"We have to be a child's voice. We can't let a child go quiet," says Jackson
"You don't know if she's alive, you don't know if she's passsed and this is just a constant grief," explains Hunter Glass.
Glass and Joe Nicholas (Joe Nick) make up her team. All are highly trained ex law enforcement officers that have taken up Aliayah's case in a quest to dispel fact from fiction and bring the toddler home.
"There's a great chance that we may not find this little girl in five days. A phenominal chance. The odds are not in our favor but at least in five days we can maybe take this book and and cut it in half and make it a more truer novel," explains Nicholas.
The team has set up a command center of the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge in Weston. They're backed by a group of local volunteers, and they're bringing new life to the search for Aliayah.
"Everyday gets harder, everyday not knowing," says Tina Smith, Aliayah's great aunt.
"We're going to find this child," says Vickie Bowen, another great aunt.
P.P.P announced on Monday that an additional reward is being offered, but they won't specify a dollar amount. This money will be on top of the $20,000 that is already being offered by the FBI.
"I don't care who did what, I just want to know where she's at," says Nicholas.
"We have to come in and be her voice. We have to go looking for her. We have to try to not leave any stone unturned to try to find Aliayah," says Jackson.
Jackson says anyone is welcome to call or text in tips to 910-627-3244.
The group is looking for volunteers for the rest of the week's searches. If you want to help, go to the FOE Lodge on East Third Street off of Route 33 in Weston.
Vickie Bowen would like to extended a special thank you to John Goodwin, with John's Tree Service, who is allowing them to use the FOE lodge. He also helped hang banners with Aliayah's information.
To learn more about P.P.P. Recovery, log on to http://ppprecovery.org
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