Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 16, 2024
UPDATE: $40,000 Reward for Missing Gainesville Girl Maria Gomez-Perez, Urgent Community Hunt Amplifies!Source: Hall County Sheriff's Office

The Hall County community has remained in fervent action over the last two weeks, as the search for 12-year-old Maria Gomez-Perez has become increasingly desperate. The Hall County Sheriff's Office, fortified with a $30,000 reward, urges the public to provide any information pertaining to her disappearance, as reported by Hoodline Atlanta.

Hoping to foster more clues, an anonymous donor contributed an additional $10,000, bolstering the existing reward. Sheriff Gerald Couch characterized Maria as being in imminent danger, telling 11Alive, "Someone in the community has that single clue or piece of information that could lead to Maria." The extended hand of support from community members, like Melody Gaddy, speaking to FOX 5 Atlanta, conveyed her worry, "If anyone sees this and Maria is out there I just pray to God that you get home safe and bring her home safely because it is very scary and everybody deserves to be home with their family."

Maria was last observed on May 29, 2024, at her home on Westside Drive in Gainesville. Her physical description circulates as being 5-foot-3, between 100 and 110 pounds, with brown eyes and dark hair. That fateful day saw her clad in a bright blue shirt, according to a Hoodline Atlanta narrative. Authorities are probing her social media and phone records, wary that she might have proactively engaged with someone unknown prior to vanishing.

Meanwhile, central efforts to uncover her situation have commanded the collaboration of over 70 professionals from various units, including the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Consulate of Guatemala. More than 50,000 fliers have been distributed, and digital billboards are lit with Maria's details, attempting to penetrate the consciousness of any passersby who might have seen something. As Melissa Chernansky told FOX 5 Atlanta, "It's actually a teaching lesson for my kids to know that there are bad people out there and that they need to be safe."

Law enforcement and citizens alike hold onto hope that Maria will be found and safely returned to her family. As the search wears on, public assistance becomes ever more crucial. The Hall County Sheriff's Office has opened its lines for tips at all hours, urging those with information to come forward and reminding the community that their vigilance could be key in bringing Maria home.