Pendleton, S.C. – Lt. Sheila Cole with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office says that a one year old went missing in Pendleton sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning.
The missing child is named Leaona and is described as a black girl who was last wearing a white sleeper t-shirt. She was last seen at her home on Cherry St. Authorities searched within a two mile radius of the apartments Saturday and Sunday for any signs of the child but still have not found her.
According to Lt. Cole, rescue crews including the Sheriff’s Office, County Technical Rescue, Oconee County Emergency Services, CERT, Red Cross, MedShore EMS, and the Zion, Belton, Pendleton, and Sandy Springs Fire Departments were used to try to find Leaona.
The “Search and Rescue Base of Operations” that was originally set up at Pendleton Veterans Park was demobilized around 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
The investigation by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office is still ongoing at this time. Deputies spent Saturday with K9 Tracking Teams to continue their search around the apartments where Leaona was last seen.
“It’s hard,” said Stanise Clinkscale, the missing child’s aunt. “This is unexpected. We had a wedding to attend today and we were all getting prepped for a joyous day and it turned out to be a nightmare.”
“It hurts because we just want her safe,” said Ashley Patterson, a neighbor and friend. “It hurts, it really does.” Patterson told 7 On Your Side that she was the one to call 911 when Leaona’s child first found out she was missing.
“It was like, we just need somebody out here because we need to find this baby. It’s just been crazy since then.”
Balloons, flowers and a teddy bear have been placed around the apartments as the family waits for news from deputies.
Sheriff John Skipper says the investigation is ongoing. He says deputies will likely continue their search Monday morning.
Please call 911 if you have any information about this missing child. In collaboration with an anonymous donor, Crime Stoppers of Anderson is offering a $1000.00 reward for information leading to the safe return of Leaona Cheyanne Wright.