Parents' Desperate Pleas

The parents of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford are pleading for the public's help in finding their daughter.

During an interview Monday with The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler, Mark Lunsford and Angela Bryant implored anyone who might know anything to call police.

"I'd have to say -- the last few days have been the worst days of my life," Lunsford said, chocking back tears.

The desperate search for the missing girl has turned up few clues.Jessica hasn't been seen since her grandmother tucked her into bed Wednesday night in their rural Homosassa, Fla., home. Her father discovered that she was missing early the next morning.

Over the weekend, more than 500 police and volunteers braved torrential downpours looking for the third grader, but came up empty.

Authorities say they're getting few clues, but lots of potential leads and information.

"There's been a lot of things that have been a comfort to me," Mark Lunsford told Syler.

"Everybody that's reaching out to help us and -- I mean -- I can't quit asking enough for everyone to help, because I can't find her without your help," he said, his voice cracking. "We just really need you."

"Jessica's disappearance has obviously touched many, many hearts there in your area," Syler said. "Does that give you any more hope that she might be found?"

"It makes me feel a lot better," Mark Lunsford replied, "because the more people that help me, you know, we get closer to finding her."

He and Angela Bryant are divorced and Bryant lives out of state. Bryant told Syler it's been awhile since she's seen Jessica: "I ain't talked to her on the phone. I try to keep in contact with her. But Mark moved up here to his mom's, and I was trying to keep in contact with her then."

A neighbor paid for Bryant's transportation so she could come to Homosassa. Bryant says she's very grateful for the help: "She's my daughter and it's my life. She's very important to me and we just need to find her and bring her back home," Bryant said, crying.

As he choked back tears, Mark Lunsford added that Jessica is "a lot like, you know, the people out there. She's a lot like your little girl and I feel the same way about mine as you feel about yours. She's very special to me. She loves so many different things. She likes to do a lot of different things, you know?"

Anyone with any possible information about Jessica's whereabouts is urged to call the Citrus Country, Fla., Sheriff's office at (352) 726-1121.

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