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Community worried after middle school student is reported missing for two weeks

Shayden Howard, 14, was last seen May 6 in Garrett.

Posted: May 20, 2019 9:38 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 8:29 AM

GARRETT, Ind. (WFFT) - The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is still helping the search for a missing teenager.

Shayden Howard, 14, was last seen May 6 in Garrett.

Police said they believe he is with Larry Taylor, 36, in the Fort Wayne or Auburn areas.

Shayden was a member of the Garrett Middle School track team.

People in town say his disappearance has them worried for their safety.

"It makes you think about your children and where they are at that moment," said Emily Gowgiel, whose three middle school students attend a different school. "I don't trust them with anyone but me. They don't walk anywhere by themselves. They don't play with a lot of kids unless I'm with them."

Police haven't released the circumstances around Shayden's disappearance.

That's what has Garrett High School sophomore McKenzie Hicks worried.

"He could be anywhere and we don't know if he exactly got kidnapped or if he did run away. It is kind of scary to think about if he did get kidnapped. It could happen to anyone of us," she said.

McKenzie said her sister is in Shayden's class, but nothing has been said at school about his disappearance.

She found out through a post being shared on social media.

"I'm really frustrated the cops or somebody didn't post anything because he could be in California or something by now," McKenzie said.

Gowgiel said situations like these could be avoided by keeping kids away from those social media outlets.

"You can't trust anyone on social media because that's what's making it worse, kids are more aware of things, we are more aware of things," Gowgiel said.

Shayden is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Larry Taylor is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall with brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about Shayden is asked to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or Garrett Police at 260-357-5151.

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