Metro-East News

Search continues for missing Mount Vernon girl, 13, near Camp Wartburg

Search for missing youth at Camp Wartburg near Waterloo

Searchers converged on the Lutheran summer camp and retreat Monday near Waterloo, IL, after a young person was reported missing. Camp Wartburg is in a wooded area southwest of Waterloo.
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Searchers converged on the Lutheran summer camp and retreat Monday near Waterloo, IL, after a young person was reported missing. Camp Wartburg is in a wooded area southwest of Waterloo.

Dozens of rescue wokers were searching Monday night for a girl who authorities say arrived at a Monroe County camp alone in a taxi and then walked off.

Former Waterloo Fire Chief Mark Yeager, who had been at Camp Wartburg assisting in the search since it began before noon, confirmed the missing girl was 13 years old and from Mount Vernon.

UPDATE: Missing girl found safe

Yeager said the girl, whose name hasn’t been released, was not registered for camp this week but had attended camp there “a couple weeks ago.”

“She really enjoyed it and came back,” Yeager said.

Yeager said the cab driver dropped the girl off near the camp’s mailbox after she paid the $110 fare in full. He said the girl left her backpacks near the cab, and when the cab driver tried to return them to her, she couldn’t be located. He said camp officials also saw the girl arrive in the cab and that they, too, couldn’t find the girl when they looked for her.

The search for the girl began shortly after her 11 a.m. arrival to the camp. Yeager said as far as he knew, the estimated 80 to100 searchers aided by at least one helicopter from St. Louis and several tracking dogs from area emergency agencies “are going to continue” through the night.

Located southwest of Waterloo, Camp Wartburg is a retreat center and summer camp operated by Lutheran Child and Family Services that promotes worship through outdoor activities and education.

Return to BND.com for more on this developing story.

Contact reporter Tobias Wall at twall@bnd.com or 618-239-2501. Follow him on Twitter: @Wall_BND.

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