A 15-year-old girl from Huntington County who went missing Saturday was found Tuesday evening.
According to the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, Raelynn Pebernat was last seen on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. near Center Street. The HCSD released a statement on Oct 27 around 3:20 p.m. saying Pebernat was found in Fort Wayne was safe.
“This investigation is still ongoing and we are limited to the information that can be shared at this time,” HCSD Sheriff Chris Newton wrote. “We thank everyone for their prayers and support along with all of the public’s tips. We especially would like to thank all of our detectives and our law enforcement partners, from Fort Wayne and our surrounding counties, for their around the clock investigation that led to her being located.”
Before the girl was found, Newton told the Herald-Press that everything and anything the department could do was done to try and find the missing girl.
“We’ve been in close contact working with the Fort Wayne Police Department. Due to their expertise, they obviously have a lot more resources than we have. She was originally being looked into and being reported as a possible runaway. As things started to develop, our detective found information where this could be more than just a runaway at this point,” Newton said.
Newton said search warrants, interviews, contacting other states and counties as well as services that help find missing and exploited children have all been utilized.
“There really isn’t anything we haven’t done that we could’ve done,” Newton said.
While the sheriff’s department and local police agencies made efforts to find Pebernat, there were no search parties because no one knows the exact area where she was missing.
A silver alert was issued to find Pebernat. Due to the fact that no vehicle or suspect was spotted, there wasn’t an Amber alert for Pebernat’s case, Newton said. Newton said there’s specific guidelines to issue an Amber alert as far as abduction is concerned.
As of now, Newton said there’s some people of interest related to the case. The investigation is still going on.
“There’s a person of interest we’re looking to talk to, an individual who we think may have some input in the investigation. He was sent to the Ossian Public Library. We released that video on our social media page. We believe he may have some information vital to this investigation, but unfortunately we’re not able to identify him and ask him questions,” Newton said.
When local Huntington County residents were asked about Pebernat’s disappearance, many expressed concern and hope that she will be found.
Although the search for Pebernat was continuing at the time Newton was interviewed, he said there’s no reason to feel frightened or scared. Newton and the rest of the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department want to remain positive and thorough in their investigation.
“We don’t have any information out there saying we have a lone abductor taking children. I’ve heard some things said of that nature, and there’s nothing to indicate that whatsoever... We have no information to make the people of Huntington County not feel safe,” Newton said.