Slidell Kids Relieved That Missing Girl Is Home

A bunch of kids from Bonne Ecole Elementary School in Slidell visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They're the same age as 11 year old Lisa Bruno. When she disappeared two weeks ago, they got scared. When she came home Sunday, her young neighbors had huge smiles on their faces.

One of the students on the field trip was Claire Hunter. When she heard that Lisa was home, she "was very excited. Because I didn't actually think it was possible that she would be alive."

According to Slidell teachers, the joy seen on the Marine Life field trip was missing the two weeks Lisa was missing. Lois Morris was on the field trip. The teacher said, "A lot of the children were very sad because they identified with her because she was a fifth grader just as they were. So they were very concerned and very sad."

They were also very worried. Linda Hunter said the kidnapping had a real impact on her daughter. "She quit walking to school," Hunter said. "I had to take her and pick her up. It was hard."

Hard, traumatized, frightened. Those were just some of the words that described how the Slidell kids felt while Lisa was gone. Even though Lisa didn't go to Bonne Ecole Elementary, these kids considered her a friend, a friend who made an amazing return home on Sunday.

Claire Hunter smiled and said, "I'm very happy and I'm very glad" Lisa is home.

Claire's teacher said it was easy to notice the newfound optimism. Mrs. Morris said, "They're so relieved that she was found and found alive and well."

Parents also expressed that relief. "It could have been any one of our children," said Linda Hunter. "So we're very happy to be here. And we're very glad Lisa is home."

Slidell authorities are looking at possible links between the Lisa Bruno kidnapping, and similar cases in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. The 11 year remains with her family in a hotel near her hometown.

by Brad Kessie