GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — JUNE 16 UPDATE: Bell has been found safe and is back with her family.
JUNE 1 ORIGINAL STORY:
The family of a missing Gwinnett County girl is growing more concerned more than a week after she walked off campus on the last day of school.
Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson was in Lilburn Thursday, where 14-year-old Ashley Na’Veah Bell took her exams at Parkview High School last Wednesday, then vanished.
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Johnson talked to Bell’s father, Remon Bell, who said his daughter is not one to run away and definitely not for this long.
“It’s harder and harder every morning, waking up,” Remon Bell said. “I don’t know what to think, because she doesn’t do this.”
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Video from a school surveillance camera shows Bell leaving campus, and district officials said there are no early signs of foul play.
“Anything could be happening right now,” Bell said “I don’t want to think the worst, but I’m just praying for the best.”
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The 5′3″, 145 lb freshman isn’t believed to be in danger by Gwinnett County School officials. However, her family says the uncertainty is weighing on them.
“I just want to know that she’s safe,” said Bell.
Ashley and her sister were supposed to go home together after exams, according to the family. By 11 a.m., her sister called their dad to say she found Ashley’s things, but that’s it.
“Her sister went to the car and [Ashley’s] laptop was under the car and her debit card was on the car windshield,” Bell said.
A Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson says Gwinnett County School Police is handling the case of the missing freshman.
Ashley’s father says no other cameras in the area picked up anything that may have shown where she may have headed after leaving campus.
Bell says he has Ashley’s phone and learned she met someone new on a chatting app.
“I’m thinking that someone coached her on doing this,” he said, “and she just left.”
Her family is sharing flyers online with the hope she can see them too and know that she’s loved.
“If you’re watching, come home,” he said. “No one’s mad at you. We love you.”
Anyone with information can share via the district’s anonymous tip line at (770) 822-6513.
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