FBI joins search for 2 missing teens
Police believe Monett sisters traveling with Southwest Honkey gang members
The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Missing Persons Unit have joined the Monett Police Department in the search for two Monett teenagers who initially ran away from home and may now be with Southwest Honkey gang members.
Endangered missing persons advisories were issued for sisters Olivia Bailey, 15, and Tori Bailey, 14, both of Monett, who Sgt. Jerry Harrison, with the Monett Police Department, said ran away from home on May 24.
The girls were last seen at the Monett YMCA at about 2:30 p.m., and Harrison said investigators received information on Wednesday leading them to believe the girls may be in danger.
"In the beginning, they were runaways," he said. "We're having trouble confirming the report, but us and the reporting party believe that's what happened. Now, we think they may be running with known gang members."
Harrison said police have focused on the El Dorado Springs area, as before police were looking in El Dorado Springs and Nevada. He said it does not sound like the girls are being held against their will, and he declined to say if they are personally involved in any gang activity.
"Even if they were, we can't release that because they are minors," he said. "But, birds of a feather, and that is a strong concern."
Harrison said police did not notify media of the initial runaway report because procedure does not call for such measures for runaways.
"I picked up this case on Wednesday and found some more information that led us down this path [to file endangered missing persons advisories]," he said. "This needs to be dealt with right away because once it is an endangered person situation, it becomes a priority.
"We get runaways almost on a daily basis, and we try to get them back as quickly as we can. Once it rises to an endangered missing person, different laws and priorities kick in, and we have got to get them back."
Olivia Bailey is 5-0, 105 pounds with blonde hair, blue eyes, a faded tattoo on her left foot and a large tattoo on her outer right thigh that reads "5150" in letters about 5 inches tall.
Tori Bailey is 4-8, 100 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
Harrison said the report falls short of qualifying for an Amber Alert, which would signify the girls were unwillingly abducted and are in immediate danger of serious injury or death.
"An endangered missing persons advisory is what we fall back to when something does not qualify for an Amber Alert," he said.
People who think they may have seen the girls should contact Harrison or Det. Dennis Haskins at the Monett Police Department at 417-235-4241, the El Dorado Springs Police at 417-876-8477, or the Crime Stoppers line at 1-888-635-8477.