UPDATE: Second Man Wanted for Questioning in the Case of Missing Tallassee Teen
UPDATE: The Tallassee community is still waiting for any new information on the teen who went missing more than two weeks ago. Kiara Nicole Neal was last seen leaving her after school program on March 9th. Her family says she never came home that night, and they have not seen her since.
“When you have a child that’s been missing for this long period of time, it not only affects the family, but it affects the entire body of the community,” says Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rodgers.
Security footage shows Neal getting into a gold van. The driver of that van has been arrested and identified as Willie Joe Thomas, III of Montgomery. Right now, Thomas is not giving authorities any details on the whereabouts of Neal. One reason Rodgers thinks there is more to the crime than there appears.
“We have been able to identify that since that encounter between the two of them, she has been seen at other businesses in Montgomery,” he says.
Tallassee High School Principal Matt Coker says Neal is a very social student, with many friends. He also said she was not doing anything out of the ordinary the day she went missing.
“It was after school hours, there were not a lot of people on campus, at the time she left,” Coker says. “Told the teacher that her dad was out front and that she was going to leave, as usual. She got up and walked right out of the building and got in the vehicle.”
Principal Coker and Tallassee officials want Neal to know she is not in trouble and will not be punished for anything. They just want her to come home safely.
“There’s a lot of people that are very scared,” Coker adds. “And are ready for her to come home and to know that she’s safe.”
“We’re more concerned than mad,” Rodgers says. “And that’s the same impression we get from dealing with the family too.”
Anyone with information about Neal’s location is asked to call the Tallassee Police Department at (334) 283-6586, or the secret witness line (334) 283-1089. Chief Rodgers says all calls and tips are taken seriously and will be investigated.