Search for missing Tuscaloosa girl enters 5th day - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Search for missing Tuscaloosa girl enters 5th day

Destiny Schaetzle, 13, has been missing since Sunday evening. Destiny Schaetzle, 13, has been missing since Sunday evening.
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

The search for Destiny Schaetzle, a missing 13-year-old girl from Tuscaloosa, has entered the fifth day.

Police and family members believe Destiny ran away from home, but they are concerned because of how long she's been missing.

She was last seen Sunday night between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at her family's home in the North Park subdivision on 64th Street Northeast.

Destiny's family says she looks much younger than 13 and may give a false name if approached.

Her family believes she may be hiding in the woods or the river near her home, but an extensive search of the area by air, land and boat has not turned up any signs of Destiny so far.

Police are also searching the family's electronics, including computers and laptops. Investigators have been talking to Destiny's parents to get any clues about why she left.

Investigators are following up on a tip they received on Wednesday afternoon, Tuscaloosa Police Sgt. Brent Blankley said on Thursday.

Police got a call from someone who said she spotted a small child who fit Destiny's description riding a bike on Rice Mine Road between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The caller knew Destiny and told police she believes the child on the bike was Destiny.

The girl on the bike was wearing a dark helmet, blue shirt and shorts. She was last spotted between Broadway Pizzeria and Wood Village on Rice Mine Road.

The caller drove further up the road, but the girl didn't ride by again.

Police officers saturated the area after getting the tip, but didn't find Destiny or any child on a bike.

Officers are now asking parents to contact them if their child was wearing similar clothes and riding a bike in that area where the little girl was seen on Wednesday afternoon.

"We want to follow all possible leads and validate all information if possible to find Destiny as quickly as possible," Blankley said.

A family friend said the search is weighing heavily on Destiny's family.

"It's really hard on everybody. We hoped Sunday night when she was missing, she was just at a neighbor's or the woods or something and she'd come home Monday. Now we're going into the fifth night," Kim Diano said on Thursday.

Destiny has sandy blonde, shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a light blue shirt with a flag on it, Umbros and crimson and white polka dot flipflops with her hair in a pony tail.

Call Tuscaloosa Police Department's Juvenile Division at 205-248-4600 to report any sightings or tips about Destiny's disappearance.

Family friends are posting updates on the Facebook Page "Prayers for Desti."

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