Sheriff: We’re looking at all sides of the disappearance of Madison Bell

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UPDATE: Madison Bell returned home Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera says Bell left ‘on her own free will’

HILLSBORO, Ohio (WCMH) — Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera said the goal of the investigation into missing 18-year-old Madison Bell is to figure out where she went.

Bell was last seen the morning of Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Most recently, the Sheriff’s Office released a photo of a man investigators believe may have knowledge of what happened to Bell, or at least may have seen her.

“We’re not calling anything off on this one,” said Sheriff Barrera.

“We found some video from the Country Corner Market of this male subject,” said Sheriff Barrera by phone. “He’s a person of interest. We need to talk with him to find out what he knows about the investigation.”

The sheriff explained that the investigation can get frustrating, because they want answers.

“We’re trying to get the tag [license plate] enhanced through the FBI and other agencies that have enhancing abilities.”

The sheriff said investigators are waiting for data to come back from Bell’s phone. It, along with other personal belongings, was found in her car.

Sheriff Barrera said they are considering all angles — they have not ruled out that Madison possibly disappeared of her own free will, and may not want to be found.

“The possibilities are always there. We’re looking at both avenues,” he said. “Hopefully, if Madison did decide to take off and leave, if she sees any of this, that she will contact somebody to let them know that she’s okay.”

That is why investigators are looking into the case. They need to know if she was abducted or not.

“We’re not going to call off anything on this one. We’ll continue looking for Maddie and hopefully we’ll get our closure soon,” said Barrera. “Right now we just need the public’s help at identifying this young man… so we can find him and talk with him.”

Anonymous tips can be reported to Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers by visiting their Facebook page and clicking “use app” or by calling 800-222-TIPS.

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