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Stewartstown girl missing, police ask public for help

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 26. 2011 4:26PM


STEWARTSTOWN -- New Hampshire homicide prosecutors have scheduled a press conference for 8 p.m. today regarding the disappearance of 11-year-old Celina Cass.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office entered the case earlier today, and now has the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team. Late this morning, New Hampshire Fish and Game launched search boats in the Connecticut River.

Also at 8 p.m., a candlelight vigil is expected to take place in Stewartstown.

An earlier story follows.

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A helicopter and search dogs combed areas of Stewartstown in extreme northern New Hampshire Tuesday for an 11-year-old who was missing when her family went to wake her in the morning.

Celina Cass, a lanky 11-year-old with a girlish smile, was last seen at 9 p.m. Monday in her bedroom on her computer, said her stepfather, Wendell Noyes.

She was gone the next morning. New Hampshire State Police said they don't know whether foul play is involved, and there was no evidence of a struggle at her home.

"Obviously, we're looking at every possibility," said state police Lt. Sheldon Belanger. "But it's really up in the air right now. It's kind of bizarre."

Belanger said dozens of people, several search dogs and a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter were looking for Cass Tuesday evening. They are focusing on Stewartstown, a town of 964 people wedged between Pittsburg to the north and Colebrook to the south.

Authorities said they have taken some evidence from the family home to try to track her down.

Also, police have talked to family, friends and many of the residents of Stewartstown, said state police Lt. Todd Landry. Reverse 911 calls have been made to people living in a 75-mile radius of her home, he said.

As of Tuesday evening, no responses had panned out, he said.

Cass is 5-foot, 5-inches and weighs 95 pounds. She has hazel eyes and waist-length brown hair. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt, pink pullover, blue shorts and shoes.

Landry said Cass gave no indication to her family members she was leaving.

"It was unlikely for her to make unannounced departures from her home," Landry said. The home is on Route 3 in the village of Stewartstown; nearby stores would have been closed by 9 p.m., Landry said.

He said Cass gets along with her family and had no medical issues that would prompt her to leave.

"She never goes out of the house," Noyes said in a brief telephone conversation. He said Monday night was normal, and Cass was gone when he went into her room Tuesday morning.

Noyes couldn't think of anyone she would run away with, or anyone who would abduct her.

Her stepfather's message to Cass: "Get your butt home."

Public Safety Stewartstown

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