Convenience store manager Leah Martin worked 25 days straight to be able to take off four days in a row, starting July 25th. On that date, one year earlier, her 17-year old daughter Morgan vanished after stepping outside her St. Petersburg home, presumably to talk to an ex-boyfriend.
"It was just like she walked out and was coming right back in," Leah Martin said Thursday.
Martin said her daughter was dressed in her pajamas and slippers, the TV was still on in her bedroom, her purse, ID and debit card were left behind, and the front door of the house was left unlocked.
"We don't have any information at this point that would certify this is a homicide investigation," St. Petersburg police spokesman Michael Puetz said. "But the circumstances of her disappearance lead us to believe that that's the likely scenario."
Puetz said the case started with missing persons detectives, but within days, homicide detectives became involved, and are now handling the investigation.
"Actually, there are a number of active leads that we continue to work to this day," Puetz said, then conceded there are no suspects so far.
The missing teen's mother planned the four-day weekend to be able to hand out fliers bearing the girl's image and offering a reward for information. Leah Martin was joined by her daughter and a friend around daybreak to hand out fliers at a busy gas station on U.S. 19 South, then handed out more fliers in the downtown area over the lunch hour.
They planned to take their effort further north Thursday night and Friday.
"I want somebody to come forward," she told FOX 13 News. "You can't tell me that Morgan walked out that front door and nobody knows. She didn't just vanish."
She sadly admitted the odds of Morgan still being alive are slim, but still hopes for closure.
"I have the right to put my child to rest and I have the right to bring her to me," Martin said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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