A missing six-year-old’s phone has been found in a Mississippi River park days after the girl’s mother was found dead from an apparent suicide.
Authorities in Minnesota are now focusing on the park in their search for Elle Ragin, 6, from Northfield, who’s not been seen since Sunday 19 June, Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott has said.
Elle’s mom Lisa Wade, 39, was found dead in the family home and police say she “may have been involved in the disappearance” of the girl.
On Tuesday, police said they had no other possible suspects, according to Fox News Digital.
“We are still extremely hopeful, but based on the information [and] evidence we have at this time, we are concerned that we may not be able to find her,” Mr Elliott told the press.
He added that the police had been able to track Ms Wade through her cellphone records after obtaining a search warrant.
“On June 21 at about noon, Lisa Wade drove from her home in Northfield to Mississippi River Park in Stearns County,” Mr Elliott said. After 3pm on that day, her phone had been turned off and it wasn’t restarted.
Ms Wade got in touch with a maintenance worker and a Stearns County deputy in the park on 23 June, Mr Elliott said.
She reportedly said that she had lost her phone and the keys to her car, a black Honda CRV, during a hike. Mr Elliott said that the deputy had her car towed to a mechanic to get a new key.
Ms Wade “seemed distraught” when she spoke to members of her family that same week, the police chief said.
She was spotted on surveillance footage numerous times between 23 June and 2 July. Every time she was seen without her daughter.
Police said that searches of the home and the area have not yielded any results. They went on to search the park as well as parts of the Mississippi River, finding the cellphones of both Elle and Ms Wade.
The girl’s phone was found on land and Ms Wade’s phone, keys, and purse were found in the water.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the search was still going on and the area had been closed to the public.
Elle is described as being around three feet and six inches tall (106cm), weighing around 45 pounds (20kg), and having brown hair and brown eyes.
An autopsy is being conducted following Ms Wade’s death.