Police turned up few clues Friday in the search for a missing 12-year-old girl from Brookfield.
Brooke Bennett disappeared Wednesday morning-- prompting Vermont's first ever Amber Alert. The investigation is focused locally in central Vermont and nationally on the internet.
Witnesses saw Brooke outside a laundromat and Dunkin Donuts in Randolph Wednesday morning between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. She wasn't seen again-- but some of her clothes were found along route 65 in Brookfield.
Bennett was last seen on surveillance at Cumberland Farms. She enters the store with her uncle, he purchases coffee and some cigarettes, and they leave the store. Brooke walks left, her uncle goes right.
"We know she stayed in that area for a period of time... because we have witnesses that put her in that area," says Vt. State Police Col. James Baker.
Police found several pieces of Brooke's clothing lying beside Route 65 near the floating bridge Thursday. That prompted a search Friday of Sunset Lake-- but that search turned up no new clues.
"I don't want the community to be scared. I want the community to be cautious," says Col. Baker.
News of Brooke's disappearance is putting some in this community on edge, especially fellow students who know the missing 12 year old.
Police aren't sure this was a kidnapping, but say they aired on the side of caution in choosing to issue Vermont's first ever Amber Alert.
"Kidnapping... we don't know that. We don't know if Brooke left voluntarily," says Baker.
They do know Brooke was chatting online with someone on MySpace and may have been planning to meet that individual.
As to who that person is or whether that person has been found-- police won't say.
"I will emphasize, this case is about a MySpace visitation," says Baker.
In the meantime, Brooke's parents are waiting to hear from their daughter. Their hopes rise every time they hear a rumor that Brooke has been found-- but those rumors are tearing the family apart.
"If there's people out there spreading rumors, don't. This is bad enough. We don't need it," pleads Brooke's father, James Bennett.
And police are also stressing that there are a lot of rumors floating around. The word around town is that Brooke's body was found in Sunset Lake. The rumor is not true. Police are still searching for her and have more than 30 investigators assigned to the case, including a five-person team from the FBI that specializes in missing person's cases.
And for the logistics of where Brooke was last seen and where her clothes were found, the Floating bridge at Sunset Lake is actually about 7-8 miles away from the Cumberland Farms in Randolph where Brooke was last seen, so it's doubtful she could have walked there. A plane from the U.S. Border Patrol flew over the entire area Friday looking for more clues-- but didn't find any.
Police also aren't saying exactly what they found along Route 65-- they say releasing any more details would compromise their entire investigation.
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