Family of missing Marianna woman wants state to take lead in search

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Annie Lee Hampton

Data pix.

MARIANNA, Ark. — It’s been two months since an Arkansas woman disappeared from her home, but her family is questioning the way Marianna Police handled the investigation.

Police are now in week eight of the search for Annie Hampton. Police said she left in her car without her wallet, money and medicine.

“It’s still not too late to say something, that we can still find her at this date,” said her mother, Frankie Mills. "It’s hard not knowing where your family member is especially when they’re sick and not in good health."

Marianna police say they’ve searched extensively for the missing 66-year-old. Efforts to track her cell phone didn’t work because it’s off.

“We have searched the air, on land, in the waters, multiple agencies have helped us search these areas," said Sgt. Alvin Honeycutt with Marianna Police. "We’ve right now have turned up no signs of Ms. Hampton.”

But the family says they’ve lost faith police are going to help them bring their mother home.

At this point, the family says they would like the state to take the lead in this case.

Hampton’s daughter, Nicketa Mathena, questioned how police handled the investigation into her disappearance from day one.

“I feel like they’ve failed her within those first 48 hours," Mathena said. "It should have never been a matter of waiting 12 hours, which was going to be 10 p.m. before you filed a missing person’s report, when you were notified of her medical condition.”

The family says that was a critical time to get information.

“Then we have to wait until Monday for you to do additional steps like searching the apartment,” Mathena said.

Family members don't believe Hampton left home on her own, either. Mathena said Hampton hadn't been driving in the weeks leading up to her disappearance.

Knowing they can’t change what’s happened, they are desperate for answers and closure.

"Just the fact that we don’t know where she is and if she’s not still alive, we still want to find her so we can bury her like she’s a person, and she’s not out there like she’s an animal,” Mathena said.

The Marianna Police Department is currently investigating and would like anyone with information to call them.

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