BREAKING NEWS: Local Teen Missing
Just a day after the Florida Weekly Leader reported on the rise of a local cutl recruiting young adults, a 16-year-old student goes missing.
Police are not tying the disappearance to any cult recruitment or activity, but parents are finding plenty of blame.
"My daughter was almost recruited by this cult," said Peggy Nelson. "Now her friend goes missing. I don't care what the police are saying, this group is preying on our children."
The missing student was identified as Brandon Hart of Flagler, who is described as six-feet tall, 120 pounds with light brown hair and blue eyes. The boy was last seen at Amy's Eatery on Pleasant Street just east of Flagler at 9pm Monday evening.
"We have no reason to beleive this person has just run away," Mike Gillespie of the Flagler police said. "He seemed to have a great home life and is reported to have been on his way home."
When he didn't arrive, Hart's parents called the police.
"It just makes you wonder what is going on," said a neighbor of Hart. "His parents are just beside themselves right now, and I don't think it has anything to do with any media hype about this cult."
Police refuse to tie this disappearance to any ult activity in the area, but Trinity Merco, a fellow student who attends school with Hart said she received a strange letter just hours before Hart went missing.
Police have not identified where this letter originated, but have confirmed they have received a copy of it.
"Again, we will not comment on any on-going investigation," said Det. Tony Jacobs. "Right now our priority is find a missing child. Whether this is tied to some so-called cult doesn't matter. We just need to find this student."
Police are asking for anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Hart to contact any local police agency.
Maranne McKay, a parent of one of Hart's classmates, says it might be too late.
"I don't know why anyone isn't taking this seriously," she said. "A cult is recruiting in our backyards and the police deny any existence of it. I don't see anything on TV about it. The schools don't say anything. Now a child is missing."