The parents of missing Amanda “Mandy” Grace McPhee pleaded for the return of their missing daughter Tuesday afternoon, two days after she vanished from their Brookswood home.
The 16-year-old Langley Christian School student vanished sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning, apparently walking out of the house without her cellphone, without ID, and with just a little money.
“We’re very confident she’s just out there somewhere,” said Mike McPhee, her father.
He pleaded for anyone who saw a young, blonde woman around 208th Street and 42nd Avenue early Sunday morning, to phone the police.
“It’s a really busy street, somebody saw her,” Mike said.
Neither her parents nor police have been able to come up with an explanation for why Mandy simply seems to have left her home and not returned.
Her mother Wendy saw the straight-A student go to bed at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP. The girl took her pet dog into her bedroom for the night.
A short time after that, McPhee sent a text message to a friend, arranging to meet to study the next day.
When McPhee’s mother woke up the next morning, the dog was out of her daughter’s room. She waited, thinking her daughter was just sleeping in, but when she went to wake her, the room was empty.
There was no sign of foul play in the home. Presumably, McPhee left sometime in the night or early morning. She may have gone out for a quick run or walk.
McPhee does not have a history of running away. She was in the middle of high school exams, she did not argue with her parents before disappearing, and she had planned a trip to Mexico with a friend and two mothers for later this summer.
Her parents say she didn’t have a boyfriend, and none of her friends have seen or heard from her.
Ashley Bach, 16, became friends with McPhee when the two went to Langley Montessori school together. Bach said McPhee is a cheerful, polite, and hard-working student.
“She’s always happy, always nice to people,” Bach said. “Even if she doesn’t like someone, she’ll still be polite. She’s really smart. She has amazing grades – really high – and she worked really hard for them. At school, she’d never get into trouble. She would always have her homework done and she never fought with teachers.”
Bach said that the McPhee she knows would never sneak out of the house without telling anyone: “I could see her, maybe, telling her mom – if they got into a fight – that she would go to someone’s house and sleep over, but I could never see her just leave home without telling anyone.”
Marks said the RCMP have not found any evidence that Mandy was kidnapped from her home by force, nor have searches of her computer files turned up any indication that someone lured her via the Internet.
Her father urged her to get in touch with her family via phone, a computer, or text message.
“Mandy, if you see this, just do that,” he said.
“If you’re someone holding her, do the right thing, just let her go,” he said.
Search parties are scouring the wooded areas of Brookswood, and Langley RCMP are throwing all their resources into the hunt for the missing girl.
Teams of Search and Rescue volunteers are arriving from as far away as Hope and the Sunshine Coast, said search manager Paul Crosby.
Members of the public have been joining search parties that are heading into the ravines, berry patches, and BC Hydro right of ways in Brookswood.
The search is centred in an area about one mile in diameter around McPhee’s home near 42nd Avenue and 208th Street.
While the teams have all the public volunteers they can handle right now, there are other things they can do, Crosby said.
“Check their own properties, particularly in the rural areas,” Crosby said.
“That really does help us.”
Volunteers are coming in from, among other places, Wendy’s workplace.
Scott Baker’s wife works with Wendy at an Aldergrove company. He and others joined the search on Tuesday, and said a number of her co-workers were taking time off work.
Police are using as many officers as they can spare for the search.
“The entire Serious Crime Unit is working on it,” said Marks.
Units like Street Crime and General Duty officers have been pulled into the search, and regional units like the Canine Unit are helping. The Air 2 police helicopter was above Langley Monday night, using its infrared cameras to try and find McPhee by body heat, and that resumed again Tuesday night.
The B.C. Missing Children’s Unit became involved Tuesday, and ChildFind created a missing person poster of Mandy.
Some officers are apparently coming in on their days off to help as well.
The RCMP are still asking the public to help as much as possible by keeping an eye out for the missing girl, and to pass along any information they might have.
“We are just begging, begging for help,” Marks said.
“We do not know what happened to this girl.”
Anyone with information can call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 Police are encouraging the public to use Facebook, Twitter, and email to spread information about McPhee.
(with files from Vancouver Sun reporter Andrea Woo)email@example.com://www.iammissing.ca/Missing%20Start%20Jan-11.html#Amanda_(Mandy)_Grace_McPhee