LUBBOCK, Texas — It’s now been a week since 14-year-old Mattie Worley disappeared from outside her middle school, and the search for her continues with increased intensity.
Her family pleaded for help from the public, and this week, a watchgroup from Abilene named “Preying on Predators,” stepped in to aid in the search.
Worley was last seen on Friday, November 13, outside of Terra Vista Middle School, where she attends as an eighth grader.
“We’ve got to get the word out that she’s still missing, that she’s still out there somewhere, and we need to find her and bring her home,” Jason Haak, a volunteer with Preying on Predators and a former marine and retired Abilene police officer, said.
The organization, comprised of veterans, former law enforcement officers and private investigators, is devoted to protecting kids from online predators and finding children who have disappeared.
“The [predator], the person on the other end of that phone, is extremely good at manipulating that child to believe everything they say,” Haak said.
In the last six weeks, the group said it has successfully found seven missing children across West Texas and returned them to their families, and they hope Mattie will be next.
For two days earlier this week, volunteers searched Lubbock for any sign of Mattie, and they said they were able to provide Lubbock police officers with some leads.
“Our team conducted numerous interviews in the field. They searched parks, searched creeks — different areas in Lubbock where people are known to be hiding. They went through [her] social media accounts, cell phone, laptop. We did our due diligence while in Lubbock,” Haak said.
LPD said investigators also have several leads, and although they couldn’t disclose any new details at this time, they said they are taking her disappearance very seriously.
As police work to answer the question of what happened to Mattie, Preying on Predators reminded parents to watch out for social media and to keep sharing Mattie’s story. If you have seen her or or have any information on her whereabouts, LPD asks you to call them at (806) 775-2856.