Amberly Lee Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala., police said.
“At approximately 6:30 a.m. this morning, the deceased body of 11-year-old Amberly Alexis Barnett was located,” DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said in a Saturday news conference. “Due to the current investigation, we are limited on the information that we are able to release.”
Barnett had been at her aunt’s house when she vanished about 6 p.m. Friday. Her mother, Jonie Barnett, said there was a dark-colored SUV spotted in the driveway that night.
“Her phone was left behind and my baby takes it everywhere. Nothing in her phone indicated she was planning to leave!” Jonie Barnett wrote in a social media post, AL.com reported. “Amberly is the type to not do anything that she will get in trouble for. She is so scared of anyone being mad at her or getting in trouble. She would not have ran away or make plans to go off somewhere.”
She said her daughter was wearing a blue hoodie with yellow stripes, blue jeans, and white Converse when she disappeared. Barnett added that her daughter wouldn’t leave her cellphone behind.
“Anyone who knows Amberly, knows she would not have left without telling me or my sister. She’s too scared to get into any trouble. She would never leave her cell phone behind,” the mother wrote. “She will fight if anyone try to do anything to her. She Is the type that gets mad and leave. She will not quit fighting to get back home.”
Welden said police are “diligently, diligently pursuing different avenues” in their investigation into her death.
“And Lord willing, we will have answers in the coming days. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as we move forward in this tragic event,” he said.