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Betty Taylor, 12-year-old Safford girl, missing since March 20

betty sue.jpg
Posted at 7:34 AM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 01:19:27-04

SAFFORD, AZ — Officials are searching for a 12-year-old Arizona girl who has been missing for nearly a week.

Betty Taylor of Safford, Arizona, was reported missing by her father around 8 p.m. on March 20.

Taylor reportedly told family earlier that day she was going out for a walk and she had not returned hours later. She left with her backpack and a couple of water bottles.

After her family looked for her for several hours, they called authorities for help.

Taylor is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and about 135 pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair with red highlights.

Graham County Sheriff's Office said she was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt with white lettering, a neon-colored baseball cap, jeans, and pink and blue Vans shoes. She may also have a purple backpack with her.

betty sue.jpg
Betty Sue Taylor

Bonnie Jones, Betty's mom is left heartbroken not knowing where her little girl could be.

"I'm scared to death about what she's going through. I don't know if she's out there on her own. I don't know if she has a safe place to be. I don't know if she's eating," Betty's mom told ABC15.

Jones says her daughter moved to Safford to live with her dad last summer.

While Betty loved the area and spending time with family there, there is one thing she wasn't too keen on.

"She hated school so much that she was getting physically sick because going to school stressed her out so much," said Jones.

She adds Betty had several social media accounts and was connecting with people the family didn't know.

"And she had promised over and over again that she would get rid of them, and I checked her most recent Facebook, and she has her friends hidden, except for the mutual friends," she said.

Now hundreds are aiding in the search, with James and Rachael Shotts leading the effort.

"We just felt compelled that we just wanted to help, and this community is very well known for banding together and helping each other in times of need," said Rachael.

The couple and Betty's mom all say support keeps pouring in.

"We've had a lot of food donations, ice donations, water," said Rachael.

"They've got 4-wheelers. They've got dogs. They've got horses. They've got drones. The helicopter has been flying over all day," added Jones.

James tells ABC15 these are some of the hurdles they're dealing with.

"The terrain is definitely very rough and it's super hot."

Despite the challenges with search efforts, the community is hopeful Betty will come home soon.

"She belongs here," said Rachael.

"We're going to find this girl," James added.

"I just want to bring you home," Jones told ABC15.

Arizona Department of Public Safety has also issued a Missing and Endangered Person Advisory for Taylor.

Anyone with information is asked to contact GCSO at 928-428-3141 or DPS at 602-223-2212.