ATLANTA, Ga. - The family of a missing South Dakota teen has arrived in Atlanta to join the search for the girl.
Morgan Bauer, 19, has not communicated with friends or family since Feb. 25. The Atlanta Police Department, which opened a missing person case on the teen over the weekend, confirmed she flew into Atlanta from Minneapolis on Feb. 2.
In an exclusive interview with Channel 2’s Nicole Carr, Sherri Sichmeller said her daughter left their small town in search of a new, independent life. She had $20 to her name and was expecting a tax refund when she flew to Atlanta. Her plans didn’t work out.
“She was planning on staying with somebody that she had talked to on Craigslist,” said Sichmeller, who added the agreement included cleaning house for the roommates until Bauer got a job.
The arrangement lasted all of one night, Sichmeller said. Text message conversations between Bauer and her best friend indicated a falling out of sorts between the roommates.
“From what I understand she’d left her clothes there because she didn’t know what to do,” said Sichmeller. “And then she went to go try to find a place to stay, a hotel, and that’s what brought her to dancing.”
While Atlanta police would not describe the workplace, they confirmed Bauer worked briefly in Hall County in mid-February. As recently as two weeks ago, a Waffle House employee off Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta said she spoke with Morgan, who was a regular customer. The girl, she said, claimed to be a dancer at the Teaser’s Gentleman’s Club across the street.
“You know, like I said, we don’t (often) see Caucasian women over there at that club, and I asked her if she was dancing or bar tending and she said that she was dancing over there,” said Kandice Avery.
On Tuesday afternoon, Atlanta police questioned club owners, who have allowed a search volunteer to post missing fliers on the business's doors. An unidentified employee later told Channel 2 that Bauer never worked there, but they are cooperating with investigators.
“It’s very rough out here if you don’t know people, don’t know what you’re doing,” said Sara House, a Stockbridge woman, who picked up Bauer’s story and printed fliers to help find her. “You don’t know where you’re going. You can get swept up really easily.”
Sichmeller said her message for her daughter is simple -- reach out if you’re able.
“Nobody’s upset with you,” said Sichmeller. “That it’s cool, I get it if you want to do your thing, but let’s get you in a right place if this is what you want to do.”
“We really need to get in contact with her and find out what’s the situation,” added Sergeant Warren Pickard with the Atlanta Police Department.
Bauer is described as 5’6” and 125 pounds. She has long brown hair, blue eyes, and a number of unique tattoos, including a flower design on the back of her neck.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Atlanta Police Missing Persons Unit at 404-546-4235. There’s also a “Missing Morgan” Facebook group for supporters.
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