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One Gainesville girl found, another still missing

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the claim of a 12 year-old girl who says she was abducted from her home earlier this week. The girl is safe and back at a home with her family. Meantime, the search for another 12 year-old girl continues in Gainesville. Maria Gomez-Perez was reported missing in late May. There is a $20 thousand reward for information that leads to her safe return.

From WSB TV…

Gainesville police are investigating after a 12-year-old girl claimed she was kidnapped from her home by a man in a mask.

Police said they got a call around 7 p.m. on June 7 about a runaway on BuenaVista Circle.

The 911 caller said her sister had ran away from home about 20 minutes before. The child left a note behind.

A neighbor said they had just seen her walking down the road. Officers from Gainesville Police and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office started looking for her.

While officers were at the scene, family members said they found the child on Atlanta Highway and took her home.

The child proceeded to tell police that she was abducted from her home while she was in the garage. She said someone came up from behind her, put their hand over her mouth and pulled her into a white, four-door vehicle.

The child said her alleged abductor, a white man in all black wearing a mask, drove her to a gas station and told her to go in and buy glasses and a hat. She then said the man took her to another store but she couldn’t remember which one.

Police went door to door and gathered any surveillance video they could. They also conducted a forensic interview on the child.

They also canvassed Atlanta Highway.

“During this canvas police found multiple videos of the juvenile, who did not appear to be in distress in the area,” police said. “After an exhaustive investigation, over 160-man hours spent in two days, investigators have not been able to find any evidence to corroborate the abduction claims. In fact, all the evidence tends to disprove the allegations.”

The mental health team for the Gainesville Police Department is working with the family and will interview the child again.

“Cases of this nature are difficult to navigate, ensuring factual and correct information is released at the right time,” officers said.

A metro Atlanta sheriff is speaking out as more people are joining the search for a 12-year-old girl who vanished from her home .

It’s been more than a week since anyone has seen 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez .

On Monday morning, Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch shared the following statement:

“As your Sheriff, I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from the community as the men and women of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office continue their investigation to locate Maria Gomez-Perez. Our community as a whole has faced numerous challenges over the years, but our resilience and determination always carry us through. Our top priority remains the safe return of Maria. I assure you that we are leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of a successful outcome. Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s office immediately. First, please keep Maria in your thoughts and prayers. Second, please do the same for our men and women as they work to bring her home.”

The sheriff’s office announced Friday that anonymous citizens are offering $20,000 as a reward in Gomez-Perez’s disappearance.

“We hope this reward money prompts someone who knows something about Maria’s whereabouts to come forward,” said Couch. “Our investigators and investigative partners are following every lead they get, but so far, none of those leads have led us to Maria.”

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released many details about what led up to her disappearance, but investigators say she was last seen at her home near Atlanta Highway and West Side Drive on Wednesday, May 29 around 10 a.m.

They say there is no evidence that she was abducted, taken against her will or that there was any foul play .

Gomez-Perez is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighing between 100 to 110 pounds. She has brown eyes and long black hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911 or the Hall County Sheriff’s Office at 770-536-8812. Citizens can also submit tips to 770-503-3232 or via email.

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