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Mother frustrated over slowed search for girl

Posted March 31, 2009

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— The mother of a 6-year-old girl who has been missing for the last week said Tuesday she is frustrated that authorities have suspended the search indefinitely.

"It's very tough. I mean, I feel very empty," Sharonda McNeill said.

Sharonda McNeill, Ca'zhia McMillian's mother Missing girl's mom: 'They shouldn't give up'

McNeill's daughter, Ca'zhia McMillian, was playing with a friend on the banks of the Lower Little River last Tuesday afternoon when she apparently fell into the water. The first-grader at Anderson Creek Primary School hasn't been seen since then.

Authorities searched a 5-mile stretch of the river for four days, using tracking dogs along the banks, sonar to scan under the water and helicopters for an aerial view.

They suspended the search over the weekend after heavy rains caused river levels to rise, making it unsafe for rescue workers. Crews dispatched early Monday and Tuesday to evaluate the river said the depth of the water and the speed of the current would make any search effort treacherous.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said authorities plan to continue evaluating the river level daily to determine when it is safe enough to resume the search. Dive and rescue teams from across the state have volunteered to help in the search.

McNeill said authorities should continue an aerial search or checking the riverbanks while waiting for the river level to drop.

"I appreciate everything they're doing and everything, but they're not working hard enough. I need more people," she said. "They need to start back searching for her. I'm not giving up, and they shouldn't give up."

Authorities have blocked off the area along the bank where Ca'zhia's friend said she fell in, and Maj. Gary McNeill of the Harnett County Sheriff's Office said investigators have interviewed the girl several times to double-check her story.

Gary McNeill, no relation to Sharonda McNeill, said investigators are confident Ca'zhia fell in where the girl said and wasn't abducted.

Ca'zhia's family said they aren't sure what happened to her, and they just want answers.

"If you have found no evidence, did she get abducted? I mean, put out an Amber Alert, put out fliers," Sharonda McNeill said. "If you got her, bring her back to me because I need her."

119 Comments

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  • familyfour Apr 1, 2009

    stephanie...I really hated to hear you say that....I had hoped that I was wrong about my thoughts about the family. Such a shame that the little one is more important to strangers.

    They do not want you to get hurt, Stephanie...not just by the danger of the river, but by the trauma that actually finding this little one may bring.

    I am so sorry that this is causing you such heartache. We all are mortified by this, but it seems that this has really taken to heart with you, and I am sorry that you can't find a way to assist so that you may do your part, so to speak.

    I just can't get those two girls out of my mind. I will always wonder what in the world possessed a person to think that they were safe out there playing beside a river alone. I don't care if it was in their backyard (or not), they had no business out there alone.....there's a RIVER there.

  • stephanieworkman Apr 1, 2009

    My husband and I just returned from the river and there was 1 fire & rescue boat with 2 volunteer firefighters that made a single trip down the river. No Family, No Friends, No One else is even looking for this child.

    This is my opinion and view on the situation.

    1. Every interview that the mother is in she is dressed as if she is about to go out. Hair done all nice & nice clothes. I would have to be interviewed at the rivers edge if not in the river.

    2. Every time she says "I NEED HER" or "WE MISS HER" She looks away or closes her eyes.
    Signs of Deception:
    Body Language of Lies:

    • Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.

    • A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.

    This is a tragedy and I feel that there is not enough being done. No one is there looking, so why can't I.

  • familyfour Apr 1, 2009

    my bottom line, above and beyond anyone's reaction to any of this is that I do not understand why those two little girls were alone playing beside a river.

    Isabella...I am not passing judgement....I am pondering a fact.

  • lorivalentine1 Apr 1, 2009

    Very sad story.. My heart breaks for both children. Mom however, needs her head examined!

  • isabella731 Apr 1, 2009

    At the end of the day, a child is missing. Let her be found before trashing her mother. After she's found, and ALL the story is known, then have at it. My God, people, she's just a baby. Give her mother a chance to deal with this before judging and finding her guilty of whatever you can come up with. People handle this sort of thing differently. If it were my child (there, I said it), I'd be camped out on the steps of whatever authorities were in charge of looking for my baby. This is my opinion and no, I won't apologize.

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Apr 1, 2009

    Well GOLO it has been fun but I have to make sure I am not called a neglegent parent for picking up my kids late so I must bid you farewell.

    May the love, grace and peace of God fall fresh upon each of you and have a wonderful evening!!

  • oldfirehorse Apr 1, 2009

    Gingerleigh225~ If you have additional contact with Stephanie, please ask them to at least let the Sheriff's Office know where they are, and to stay back from the water. As well meaning as they are, it is a dangerous location. It's regrettable that the lack of information coming through news, and this blog, of what is actually happening is causing folks to strike out on their own to try to help. Please, search operations have a method even if it's not clear to the public at all times. Oh, and Ms. Turner, I'm sorry I jumped to the wrong conclusion. In retrospect, I can see how easy it would be to just omit those four letters in the middle; you probably had no idea that there's a difference between referring to someone as an old horse as opposed to an old fire horse. Gotta' run. Peace out. ~Oldfirehorse

  • ZeroDown Apr 1, 2009

    Right now it is believed that the girl is still in the water and is trapped under debris in the river. With the fast moving current it is unsafe to search. The more you train and learn about this business the more dangerous you know it to be. At the end of the day if we did something unsafe and ended up dead what have we accomplished? Nothing. The search has been suspended until it's safe. the river is being checked on a daily basis. As I have said before. Ms. turner instead of saying
    "WOW!!! That is interesting yet sad to say the least. And people wonder why this mom is a little on the frustrated side. She is being bound and helpless by some many entities that she doesn't know what to do"

    Go out and volunteer, take the training classes and learn why it's unsafe to search.

  • ZeroDown Apr 1, 2009

    Ms. Turner, I have enough information of the investigation to know I won't have to apologize.

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Apr 1, 2009

    Gingerleigh225...

    WOW!!! That is interesting yet sad to say the least. And people wonder why this mom is a little on the frustrated side. She is being bound and helpless by some many entities that she doesn't know what to do!

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