Police Issue Amber Alert for Missing Child - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police Issue Amber Alert for Missing Child

Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett
James Bennett James Bennett
Cassandra Gagnon Cassandra Gagnon

Brookfield, Vermont - June 26, 2008

Vermont State Police have issued an Amber Alert for a missing Braintree girl.

12-year-old Brooke Bennett was last seen Wednesday morning in Randolph.

"Obviously I'm upset. You just want her home. We want her back," Brooke's father, James Bennett, said tearfully.

James Bennett sat with his wife, Janet, as they tried their best to be strong. Pictures of Brooke are scattered throughout the home. Brooke lives with her mom in Braintree. The 12-year-old celebrates her birthday next month and her dad says she is already a typical teen.

"Of course, she is becoming a teen so she is interested in spending time with friends and doing sports. You know we are all for that. But we are not all for this," said James Bennett.

Brooke was last seen on surveillance video walking away from the Cumberland Farms in Randolph Wednesday morning. Police say she convinced her uncle to drop her off at the store so she could get a ride to visit a sick friend. But police say she really went there to meet a person she had been communicating with online through the popular social networking site MySpace.

"It is the family member's opinion that was a ruse to the family to get to that location. Members of the Vermont State Police Computers Crime Unit are currently examining the computer used by Miss Bennett in an attempt to isolate and identify when she was speaking with the online- the person online prior to her being reported missing," said Vt. State Police Capt. David Covell.

Police do not know who that person is at this time.

Brooke's mother, Cassandra Gagnon, issued a heartfelt plea to her daughter on Thursday night. "I love you Brooke. I'm not mad. I just want you home," she said through tears.

Police K-9 teams searched the area near the floating bridge on Sunset Pond in Brookfield after family members found clothing in the area similar to what Brooke was last seen wearing. Missing signs have been hung at businesses throughout the area.

"If anybody has seen her or heard from her or talked to somebody that saw her, please call. Call us, call the state police, help us find her," pleaded James Bennett.

Brooke's 17-year-old sister, Savannah, issued her own plea. "I just want you home, Brooke, and if you can hear me, if you're watching, just call me and let us know you're safe."

Police will be sending dive teams to the floating bridge Friday to continue to look for clues. Relatives of the missing girl found some of her personal belongings near the bridge. Police say it's a popular hang out spot for teens.

James Bennett said there had been some tension a month ago regarding Brooke's MySpace page. He actually helped her set up the page originally, but then had taken it down due to some inappropriate language. But he said overall she is really a good kid and had no reason to run away.

Brooke was missing for a day and a half before police issued the Amber Alert. That's because there are certain regulations that authorities have to follow in order to issue the alert. There has to be evidence of an abduction. And police believe that they do now have that evidence, though they will not comment on what exactly that evidence is, so that is why they issued the alert late Thursday afternoon.

This is the first Amber Alert Vermont has issued since it joined the program four years ago.

Brooke is 12-year-old. She is 5'3", 98 pounds, has brown hair with purple highlights and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a pink sweater and white sneakers with pink lettering.

If you have seen her or have any information-- call Vt. State Police at 802-234-9933.

Adam Sullivan and Bianca Slota - WCAX News

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