By Scott Buttram, publisher
Saturday morning, in heavy rain, a crowd of about 50 people gathered under the shelter of Target on Highway 11 in Trussville to distribute fliers in search of Hewitt-Trussville student Michelle Cook. The 16-year old has been missing since Monday night at about 11 p.m. when her parents last saw her. The only confirmed sighting was on Tuesday at around noon, possibly in a white two-door car, just off of Roper Road in Trussville.
A cameraman for NBC 13 was also present and interviewed Michelle’s father, Andrew Cook, about his missing daughter.
Cook said his daughter had been grounded before she left home in the middle of the night and he thinks that may have precipitated her decision to leave. But it was out of character for her to have no contact with anyone for this long, her father said.
Trussville resident Paul Caddell was among the volunteers on hand to help with the search.
“I’ve known Andrew for about eight to ten years,” Caddell said. “He’s a very good friend of mine he’s pretty devastated. My daughter is very close to his daughter’s age. She’s going to be passing out fliers at another location in about an hour.”
Volunteers took fliers and began to disperse to areas around Trussville including Clay, Pinson, Leeds, Moody, Odenville, Roebuck, downtown and the south side of Birmingham. High traffic areas such as shopping centers and grocery stores will be the focus of distributing the fliers as well as the 5-Points South area in Birmingham.
Cook thanked everyone for taking the time to help and explained what he hoped the search would accomplish.
“Our ultimate goal is to just try and get some information and find out if my daughter is okay, where she is and get her home,” Cook said. “We just want to encourage everybody, if you have seen her, please contact us or contact the Trussville police. We’re extremely worried about her and love her and want her home.”
Cook said anyone with information could call him directly at 205-369-7275 or TPD at 205-655-2101.