Search continues for missing 7-year-old

by: Carl Willis Updated:

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga.,None - The search for a 7-year-old girl in Cherokee County switched from a missing person case to a possible abduction.

Investigators said Jorelys Rivera has not been seen since 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The girl's mother, Joselin Rivera, fears someone took her daughter and drove away. She made a plea Saturday night for whoever has taken her to just bring her back.

The Canton Police Department along with Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and Georgia State Patrol searched overnight Friday and through Saturday.

They scoured a mile and a half radius around the River Ridge at Canto apartments with a K-9 and a chopper, but found no sign of Jorelys.

"I was out there until three this morning," said neighbor and volunteer Amanda Nixon. "(We) searched the Dumpsters. We actually crawled into the Dumpsters."

On Saturday night the ground search was suspended.


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"We've pretty much exhausted all of the searching," Detective Candy Worthy said. "At this point we're leaning more in the direction of it being abduction."

Detectives said the Canton Elementary student left the apartment complex playground and went back home to get drinks for her friends.

However, she disappeared after she left her apartment.

According to investigators, she was being watched by a teenager while her mom slept at home.

"It would be really easy for someone to just take them because they're always unsupervised," neighbor Heather Johnson-Coker said.

Jorelys' classmate, Destiny Nixon, said she still holding out hope "...that she is OK," she said.


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Police said they went door to door through the complex and had all but ruled out local sex offenders.

They said the child's mother is cooperating with the investigation and said her father, who lives in Puerto Rico, arrived in Canton Saturday.

Investigators said they must now broaden their search.

"We're going to sit down and meet with all of her friends see if they might have any other information," Worthy said.

Worthy said DFACS had taken the mother's other two children into protective custody. She said it was part of procedure.