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July 26, 2011

Missing Child
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 08:59 PM * 45 comments

From the Colebrook Chronicle: Celina Cass poster

On Tuesday afternoon the N.H. State Police issued a request to the public for help in locating a missing juvenile from West Stewartstown.

Celina Cass, age 11, was last seen sitting at her computer by her parents about 9 p.m. on Monday night. When they went to wake her on Tuesday morning, she was not in her bed. A search began and state police were called in. Assisting in the search was N.H. Fish and Game and several K-9 units, as well as local police departments from nearby towns and the U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Celina lives with her family in an apartment building near the Spa Restaurant. Police have said there are no signs of a struggle in the house and that Celina does not have a history of wandering away

By 4 p.m. the state police had issued their request to the public for help in locating Celina, and an automated call system was calling phone numbers throughout the state notifying residents of the missing girl. Radio, television and newspapers throughout the state were uploading information about Celina on their websites and in newscasts.

Anyone with information is asked to call the state police at (603) 846-3333.

Video here.

See also:

Live updates from WMUR
As of noon Saturday there is a $25,000 reward for information leading to Celina’s location and the arrest and prosecution of a suspect, and a separate $5,000 reward for information leading to her location.
[Update 01AUG11] And it’s over. No longer missing.

Thanks to everyone for their support and prayers.

Comments on Missing Child:
#1 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2011, 09:09 PM:

West Stewartstown is the very next town north of (bordering) mine. Washington St, West Stewartstown, is US Rt 3, which is the same as Main Street, Colebrook.

Right now there's a helicopter orbiting the river valley, and a ton of cops in town.

We had heavy rain this afternoon, and the temperature is now in the fifties.

#2 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2011, 10:07 PM:

Oh, crap, Jim. I hope she gets found pronto, and is okay.

Every parent's nightmare.

#3 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2011, 10:21 PM:

Bright blessings and best wishes for her speedy and healthy recovery.

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2011, 10:51 PM:

I hope this ends well.

#5 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2011, 11:52 PM:

I too hope it ends well, but... going missing from her own bed, overnight? Given that the police have said both "no signs of struggle", and apparently ruled out family members too... well, I can only think of two scenarios left. One is not hopeful, that classic "went to meet someone she met on the Internet".

The other option... well, if she turns up at a previously-secret boyfriend's home, she'd hopefully be safe, but everyone concerned will be embarrassed as all get-out!

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 01:16 AM:


I hope Celina's story ends well, and quickly.

The local Gone Missing story has long faded from the headlines. I still occasional come across store windows with "Kyron Horman -- Endangered Missing" posters, and another feel a pang of sadness for his parents. It's been over a year, without a single solid clue.

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 06:15 AM:

Second day of the search, and still no word. Assorted baritones from out of town standing in the parking lot of The Spa talking to cameras.

The police took the young lady's computer; I expect they've read her mail and her chats by now. Yesterday they were going house-to-house.

Light rain all night. Temperature is now 54.

At least Nancy Grace hasn't showed up.

#8 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 10:07 AM:

She and her family are in my prayers.

#9 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 10:22 AM:

Gah. I've been re-reading Seanan McGuire's An Artificial Night, and this scenario is eerily like the one which starts that story (children taken from their beds by Blind Michael for the Wild Hunt). GoodThoughts being sent that she be found quickly.

#10 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 11:48 AM:

Oh, dear. She is in my prayers.

#11 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 01:09 PM:

11 years old? Oh my. That's particularly troubling if she met someone on the internet.

#12 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 01:20 PM:

I hope she is safe and is home soon.

#13 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 02:29 PM:

Prayers for her safety and speedy recovery, and for comfort and hope for her family. Gratitude for the searchers. My first thought, too, was "someone she met online." Please keep us informed.

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 06:19 PM:

There's going to be a candle-light vigil tonight at 8:00 p.m. opposite Solomon's Store.

#15 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2011, 06:27 PM:

Story has gone national:

#18 ::: Adrienne ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2011, 09:24 AM:

I hope that this case resolves happily. My heart aches for her parents.

This is only marginally related - Nancy Grace, much like Jessica Fletcher (who is fictional, yes, but I'm not certain Grace isn't, too) is the modern day harbinger of very bad news.

#19 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 07:53 AM:

Oh dear. I hope she's found soon. Her parents must be terribly anguished.

#21 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:08 PM:


FBI offers reward in case of missing New Hampshire girl

#23 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 11:49 PM:

This story was in the local (Eugene, OR) paper this morning.

#25 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 02:10 PM:

Jim, the careful phrasing of the current report, which your link returns, hardly hides anything. A body was found within half a mile of the home. No formal identification yet.

#26 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 05:51 PM:

A live news conference is scheduled here at 6:05 EDT today.

#27 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 06:21 PM:

Oh gods, this is heartbreaking.

#28 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 06:59 PM:

The death is being termed "suspicious." The autopsy is scheduled for 0900 tomorrow.

Mood around town is somber this evening.

#29 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 07:11 PM:

That is awful. I feel bad for the family most of all, but also for those in the community who pitched in to search. Take care back there.

*SIGH* Cold comfort, but: There is something to be said for quick closure.

Out here in Portland, in addition to the yet-unresolved Horman disappearance, a missing 14 year old's family had to wait more than a month before her murderer / boyfriend could be coaxed into letting the police know where to find her body. (The story would be a national sensation except, well, murderer and victim were both African American.)

#30 ::: BigHank53 ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 09:53 PM:

Ah, hell. My condolences.

#31 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 10:14 PM:

So sad.

#32 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 11:53 PM:

I remember a similar disappearance in Seattle where it was years and years before the body was found. Though it's all still utterly horrible, I am glad that at least Celina's family and friends won't have that torture.

#33 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 04:23 AM:

It's going to be bad, at least until the cause of death, and how she left her home, can be nailed down. I wonder how much of the phrasing—terms such as "suspicious"—is a way of saying "We don't know yet."

And the idea of the stranger on the internet is such a tempting explanation when things go wrong. It means it isn't somebody you might know.

#34 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 04:54 AM:

Damn, damn, damn.

#35 ::: John Peacock ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 06:37 AM:

Tragic. Historically, the risk of the "stranger on the Internet" is wildly overblown and the primary suspects are almost always a step-father, father, a step-mother, or mother (pretty much in that order). In this case, it seems highly likely to be the step-father, who may very well be in the hospital for self-inflicted wounds...

#36 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 07:58 AM:

Just saw a story about her on Road Runner. Damn. I was hoping, as were we all, that she would be found safe.

#37 ::: Lisa Padol ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 01:42 AM:

Shit. I am so sorry.

#38 ::: John Peacock ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 06:50 AM:

I've realized that I was actually making a very unsupported accusation against the step-father, based on very little evidence. I was just trying to point out that the "stranger danger" hysteria is both overblown and unhelpful. It is much more likely that it was someone she knew in person, rather than some random person off the street or someone online.

#39 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 07:59 AM:

Dave Bell, John Peacock: Well, the thing is: meeting a stranger on the internet is harmless. Letting them persuade you to meet them in the real world, without telling anyone where you've gone, now that's dangerous!

Even a lot of the adults I've heard from leave notes and tell friends beforehand when they meet some IRL for the first time. Hell, I probably would, and I'm a full-grown man who can be a bit intimidating in my own right.

#40 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 10:59 AM:

Damned tragic. What a fucked-up world this is.

#41 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 01:08 PM:

David @39

I don't entirely agree. Sometimes there is an emotional effect. Contact with other people always has the potential for harm, but it's pretty rare.

#42 ::: Julia Jones see spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2011, 05:31 AM:

And particularly tasteless (if unintentionally so) spam, @42.

#43 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 05:17 AM:

I'm so sorry.

#44 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2011, 12:59 AM:

Oh, damn. Damn.

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