Frustrations mount, no leads in search for missing Allendale teen

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

November 17, 2006

It's now nearing two weeks since teenager Erica Bradley disappeared in a small South Carolina town an hour southeast of Augusta.

Now frustration is showing, as her family blames the Allendale police for not moving quickly enough to start searching for the 17-year-old.

Eleven days of counting, waiting and hoping, and still no word of what happened to the girl after she left her job at a Hardee's.

Erica's family has been left with a lot of unanswered questions. Why didn't her boyfriend tell her parents she was missing right away, and why didn't the Allendale police department start investigating sooner?

Officers still have no solid leads in the case, making the search the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Erica's boyfriend, Derrick Maner, says he hasn't seen her since Monday night, but her family didn't know she was missing until Wednesday night. The search didn't start until Thursday.

"Why was it done? I don't know," said Allendale's Sheriff Tom Carter.

Compounding the investigation are the facts that Erica had a good record at school and hadn't missed a day of work. That's why investigators think the alleged argument she had with her boyfriend is significant.

Erica's grandmother, Annie Ruth Wright, wants to know why police department dragged their feet.

News 12: "Do you blame the police?"

Wright: "Well, in a way, I do."

Maner was questioned last Wednesday, but after he was read his Miranda rights, he stopped talking.

Officers are still waiting for DNA results on a pair of shoes found in the woods. The shoes are similar to those worn by Hardee's employees. So far, those shoes are their best lead. Until DNA results show whether the shoes belonged to Erica, all they can do is keep looking.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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