Missing girl believed to be in extreme danger: 'I was not kidnapped'

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — The missing 12-year-old Hall County girl described by authorities as in "extreme danger" called Channel 2's Tony Thomas Tuesday to explain her side of the situation.

Brooklyn Smith insists she is "physically fine" and told Thomas she is not with her father, but with friends. She would not identify the friends or tell Thomas exactly where she is.

Hall County authorities, along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, issued an Amber Alert last week for Brooklyn.

Investigators believe she is with her non-custodial father and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Cameron Clay.

Deputies say they have reports of the trio being spotted in Cartersville on Monday. They are supposedly driving a vehicle that's pulling a large, older style camper.

Investigators won't say exactly why, but they insist they have reason to believe Smith is in extreme danger.  A warrant for interfering with custody has been issued for the fathers arrest.

Thomas asked Brooklyn if she was with her father and his girlfriend. She replied, "I am not. "

She went on to say, "First of all I was not kidnapped. I ran away and I had planned on running away for a month or so. I was saving up money of $500 or so."


Brooklyn's mother doesn't' believe that story. She told Thomas, " She has a 50 dollar bill, 20 dollar bill , 10 dollar bill all in her wallet right now. She would have taken that if it were her intentions. It just doesn't add up."

Salena Smith says the 12-year-old walked out of their house just west of Gainesville about 2:30 in the morning last Wednesday.

Salena Smith says she spotted the father's car speeding away. Brooklyn has not been seen since by authorities, and only called her mother once last week insisting she was fine.

"Everybody is wanting to know why I won't call the cops or go to the cops and they think it's because I'm in danger or whatever, but it's actually because I don't trust the cops," Brooklyn told Thomas in the phone call.

She said she wants to be with her father, but insisted a second time she is not with him right now.

"It all points to him. He's coaching her. He's telling her what to say. You can hear her pausing and listening to whatever he's saying," Salena Smith said.

Investigators say they continue to actively try to track Spires and the child, but have had little luck so far. They believe she went willingly with him, but may have been coerced.

"She's so young and so impressionable that she may have been somewhat brainwashed, if you will, into believing what her situation is, and anytime a young victim starts to fall into that frame of mind, they are in even greater risk," said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, of the Hall County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities are asking anyone who thinks they might have spotted Spires, Clay or Brooklyn to call 911 immediately.

If anyone has information about the case, they are asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 770-531-6879 or dispatch at 770-536-8812.