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"Hopeful for a positive outcome": Search continues for missing 6-year-old in Northfield

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at home of missing Northfield girl
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at home of missing Northfield girl 01:11

NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- A search is underway in Northfield for missing 6-year-old Elle Ragin.

Investigators said they found the body of Ragin's mother, Lisa Wade, on Saturday when a relative called and requested a welfare check at her townhouse. Law enforcement believe Wade may have been involved in her child's disappearance and Ragin could be in danger.

"I think everyone is just worried, everyone wants to find the little girl and find out what happened," neighbor Julie Olamza said.

Rice County Sheriff's Office

Those who lived near the little girl and her mother in Northfield came home to a crime scene with roads taped off since 39-year-old Wade was found Saturday morning.

"That's a terrible thing to happen," Northfield resident Kyle LaFontaine said.

LaFontaine's girlfriend's sister lives in the townhomes.

"She told me we've seen that kid out here multiple times playing and stuff while we are over visiting her sister and saw the mom too, we would have never expected that," LaFontaine said.

Olamza lives across the street from where Elle's mother was found, but said she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary the past few days.

Northfield Police Department

"I hadn't seen any activity or anyone even in and out of that unit ever at all," Olamza said.

In a news conference Sunday afternoon, Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott said the search is continuing.

"Our hopes and our prayers are that we will be able to find Elle safe somewhere and our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their loss of Lisa. We know that's difficult for families, and we are very hopeful for a positive outcome here," Elliott said.

He said that investigators searched the home and the family vehicle for clues. Meanwhile, crews have searched the area with drones, K9 units and a helicopter. 

When asked why no Amber Alert has been issued for Ragin, Elliott said that those alerts are used for abductions, when there's information on a suspect or a vehicle. Authorities currently have none of those thing, although the chief did confirm that a missing persons alert has been sent out. 

The Northfield Police Department said in a press release update on Monday that they are continuing to investigate the case and spent the day following up on leads. 

The department says it gained "valuable information" from its Monday investigation.

On Tuesday, The Stearns County Sheriff's Office announced it was requested to assist the Northfield police with the case. 

The sheriff's office and members of its dive team assisted in the search for the missing child at Mississippi River County Park. The team has been searching the area since Sunday.

The Mississippi River County Park is closed to the public until further notice.

Ragin is described by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as approximately 3-feet, 6-inches tall and weighing 45 pounds. She has brown curly hair and brown eyes.

Police are asking anyone who saw Ragin or Wade in the last two weeks call the Northfield Police Department at 507-645-4477.

Mental health resources 

If you are having thoughts of suicide, you can text the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255.

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