Missing girl's family thankful for community's support
As the search for a missing Kotzebue girl enters its sixth day, her family is grateful to community members for their help in the search efforts.
Ashley Johnson-Barr was reportedly last seen at Rainbow Park around 5:30 Thursday night. The park is a popular place for local kids, but Ashley’s father, Scotty Barr, said it’s not close to the family’s home.
“It’s kind of, a little unusual for her to come over here by herself at that time of the night,” Barr said.
When Ashley didn’t come home, her family started calling but got no answer.
Someone later found the 10-year-old’s phone in front of the NANA building a few blocks away from the park-- in the opposite direction of her house.
The search began around 2 a.m. Friday.
“Both our hearts were really racing. Our minds were very clear. That was our main focus was to look at the main places that she does go,” Barr said.
Within the next couple of days, dozens of people volunteered their time to search the town, looking for any sign of Ashley. The FBI has 15 agents on the case who are working with Alaska State Troopers, Kotzebue Police and the Alaska Incident Management Team.
Barr said people from surrounding villages like Barrow and Noatak have also offered to help.
“That’s a community of love. It shows how much they do care because everyone else in this community has a child, have children of their own. If any of their children were in this same situation we’d be doing the same thing,” he said.
Barr describes Ashley as a fun-loving 5th-grader with a passion for basketball.
“She loves Steph Curry,” Barr smiled. “She’s very energetic, very happy, always having a smile on her face on a daily basis whether she was with her sisters or friends.”
He and Ashley’s mom are trying to be strong to help their other children get through this difficult time. They’re all holding out hope for Ashley’s safe return.
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