Watch CBS News

Volunteers in Wise County help search for missing 7-year-old Athena Strand

Volunteers in Wise County help search for missing 7-year-old Athena Strand
Volunteers in Wise County help search for missing 7-year-old Athena Strand 02:13

WISE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Thursday night, the search for a missing 7-year-old girl in Wise County continues. 

Athena Strand was last seen at her father's home on County Road 3573 in Paradise, wearing a gray long sleeve shirt with white flowers, blue jeans with white flowers on the pockets and brown boots. 

Athena Strand is 7-years-old. She has blue eyes, light dirty blonde shoulder length, wavy to curly hair, weighs 62 pounds, white/olive skin, 48 inches tall and has a pink scar on left jaw line, according to her mother.  Strand family via Facebook

One of the big concerns for officials is the cold weather, with temperatures in the 50s.

Melina Owens and her neighbors have been searching nonstop for the missing girl.

"The community is definitely coming together to help in any way that they can. Bringing their horses, their ATVs, walking on foot. Everyone is just upset and trying to help," she said.

She says unfortunately, so far, no sign of Strand. 

Strand has been missing since about 6 p.m. Wednesday night. The sheriff's office says they received a call from her stepmom reporting her missing. 

The two had an argument while Strand's dad was not home. They believe she walked out on her own, but neighbors say that doesn't seem right. 

"The only time she left was to go to her grandmother's house next door - and that's family," Owens said. "She's not okay with being in the dark. She doesn't like the cold."

An Amber Alert was issued this afternoon.

"We're looking at everything from the criminal standpoint or just a missing child so we're not going to leave anything unturned," said Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin.

Neighbors were doing as much as they could while there was still daylight.

"There's some abandoned barns and sheds.. we went through there," said Chasity Allerkamp, who volunteered to help search for Strand. "We searched the woods behind the dad's property, not on the property while they were out there with the hounds, we couldn't find anything out there." 

As another full night approaches, Strand's mom is thanking everyone for their efforts on social media, writing: "I feel like there is a hole in my heart and half of my soul is missing." 

"We're still just praying that we're going to find her in good condition," Owens said.

A church nearby has been the meeting spot for a lot of volunteers. Most people have gone home for the night, but they say they'll be back out again early Friday morning. 

7-year-old Athena Strand missing, last seen inside Wise County home
Wise County Sheriff's Office
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.