Search resumes for missing Allendale teen

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December 27, 2006

ALLENDALE, S.C.---The search is back on for a missing Allendale teenager.

The trail leading to 17-year-old Erica Bradley seemed to dead-end after she disappeared in early November. Now her family is bringing in search experts all the way from Texas.

The search attempts up to this point have turned up pieces of evidence here and there, but none of them led to Erica. Now, as time continues to pass and the trail gets colder by the day, the family says they're more determined than ever to get answers.

Erica Bradley's mother Jackie and the rest of the family will leave no stone unturned until they find her.

"I want to see her walk through those doors," Jackie Bradley told News 12. "It's been hard not knowing where she's at."

The trail has been a hard and long one for the entire family. Erica disappeared November 6 after leaving her job at a local Hardees. Since then, law enforcement turned up clothes, socks and shoes, pieces of hair extensions, and other things in the woods. But so far, those leads haven't been enough.

"We going to have to get an ending of this to give up," said Erica's great-aunt, Maudell Hicks. "We have to know where she is to give up."

That's why they're bringing in Texas Equusearch, an organization of volunteers from the Houston area dedicated to finding people like Erica.

"We want to search every square inch...and I truly don't feel she's very far away from us," said Equusearch director Tim Miller.

Miller and his group are combing a few hundred square miles on foot, four wheelers, and with the help of a well-trained sense of smell. Miller says the mild landscape, relatively flat and dry, ill help the mission.

"This family needs closure. This town does," Miller said. "It's a terrible loss."

Closure after two months of wondering.

"If y'all know where my daughter at, I'd appreciate it if y'all come and let us know where she's at so we can do what we got to do, whatever," Jackie said.

Until then, the search continues.

Texas Equusearch started their search today, and they're hoping to get a group of about a hundred volunteers. They're also offering a $2500 reward for information leading to Erica Bradley.

You can reach them at 877-270-9500. You can also visit them online by clicking here.

This investigation began more than seven weeks ago. Here's the progress so far.

Erica Bradley turned up missing November 6. The Allendale Sheriff's Department got involved three days later. That's when they named her boyfriend, Derek Maner, a suspect and started searching the woods. Today the search continues with the recovery organization.

State and local law enforcement investigations are ongoing.