Missing New Hampshire Girl: Search Extends to Canada

Stepfather of Celina Cass was once committed for violent threats.

July 28, 2011, 7:56 AM

July 28, 2011 — -- The frantic search for missing New Hampshire girl Celina Cass was extended to Canada today and police from at least three states and the FBI have joined the manhunt.

The 11-year-old girl, who lives one mile from the Canadian border, was last seen by her parents at her computer in her bedroom Monday evening. By Tuesday morning, she had vanished from the family's West Stewartstown home.

At least 48 law enforcement agents, some coming from New York and Virginia, have arrived in New Hampshire to aid in the search for Cass, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young told ABC News. The Royal Canadian Mountain Police are working with New Hampshire officials to look for the girl, he said.

"Until we find her, we are going to continue to scour this area," Young said.

Friends and family described the girl as a shy fifth grader who would never run away or leave with a stranger.

Today, authorities pored through Celina's computer and phone records, looking for any clues into her disappearance. FBI agents have also been seen questioning neighbors on their front porches.

No Amber Alert has been issued for Celina. Authorities are treating this as a missing persons case and no suspects have been named.

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Celina's stepfather, Wendell Noyes, has a troubled past.

Court Docs Reveal Past of Celina Cass' Stepfather

Noyes, 47, was involuntarily committed to a hospital in 2003 because of his schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassinig, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension.

The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said that Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

While awaiting trial, a judge ruled Noyes incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be involuntarily placed in a hospital. Judge Richard Hampe wrote that Noyes' mental illness creates "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others."

A forensic examiner deemed Noyes a paranoid schizophrenic who likey developed his mental illness while in the Air Force, according to court documents.

Attempts to reach Noyes and his wife have been unsuccessful.

FBI Joins Hunt for Missing New Hampshire Girl

Earlier Wednesday, investigators examined clothing in a red pickup truck parked next door to the Cass family home. They also set up police tape around the Cass family home and began examining the home in detail. Celina lives with her mother, stepfather and 13-year-old sister. Celina's stepfather and mother have not released any statements since she vanished.

ABC News consultant Brad Garrett, a former FBI profiler and agent, said that it's not disconcerting that the parents haven't yet spoken. He said that it's key that investigators talk to Celina's friends and glean as much as they can from her computer and phone records.

"I would focus more on what has changed in Celina's life in the last 24 or 48 hours," Garrett said. "The key with kids this age...is to interview those other 11, 12-year-olds that she associates with online or in person."

Celina kept an open Facebook account which could have attracted a sexual predator, Garrett said.

"Predators are out there looking for people like her that they connect with. If she does not have a closed Facebook page, that's a direct entry for someone," Garrett said.

In the last 48 hours, Celina's family and community members have posted flyers emblazoned with Celina's image.

"We're putting them everywhere," Lori McKearney, the girl's aunt, told ABC affiliate WMUR. "We have people going to Lancaster, Jefferson, Whitefield, Littleton. We're going to Pittsburg."

The startled community gathered Wednesday night for a solemn vigil.

"It's a small town and we don't expect anything. Everybody knows everybody, everybody loves everybody. Everybody takes care of everybody. This is not suppose to happen, not here," said Lizette Hewitt at the vigil.

Celina's school houses just 85 students and many of her classmates are afraid.

One girl described her fear as "very, very strong. I miss her a lot, everybody misses her. Everybody's scared. There's nothing much we can do except pray for her. And I wish everybody would do that for her."

Celina is 5-foot-5 and weighs 95 pounds, with long brown hair and hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a pink shirt, a pink pullover, blue shorts and shoes.

If you have any information about Celina's whereabouts, call New Hamphsire State Police at 603-846-3333.

ABC Affiliate WMUR contributed to this report.

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