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Help Find a Missing
3-year old from North Dakota named Reachelle Marie Smith-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor: The eRumor says there is an
Amber Alert for missing 3-year old Reachelle Marie Smith of Minot, North
Dakota. It says she is believed to be in the company of a man
named Leigh Cowen, a 22-year old who lived with Reachelle's aunt.
The aunt also had custody of Reachelle.
The Truth: According to the North Dakota
Highway Patrol, this Amber Alert is real. The latest update,
however, is that the 22-year old, Leigh Cowen, and the missing van are
no longer a part of the Amber Alert. Police say Cowen committed
suicide and there is no trace of Reachelle. The search for her is
continuing, but police say the hope of finding her alive is fading.
According to Minot police, Reachelle was last seen alive on May 16,
2006. She lived with her aunt, who also had legal custody of her.
The suspect, Leigh Cowan, also lived with the aunt and the little
girl. Cowan had claimed to have taken Reachelle to his mother's
but when the aunt's van disappeared and Leigh Cowan disappeared, the
aunt notified police. Reachelle was reported missing on May 22 and
when authorities learned that Cowen's mother did not have Reachelle, an
Amber Alert was issued. The next day, Cowen's body was found in a
van in a wildlife refuge northwest of Minot. Police say there was
a hose running from the exhaust to inside of the van and that Cowan's
death has been ruled a suicide. Even though he was not related to
Reachelle, Cowen had told others, including his mother, that Reachelle
was his daughter.
Authorities have conducted widespread searches around the Minot area
looking for Reachelle. Cowan is considered the only suspect in her
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
AMBER ALERT!!!!! I need everyones help!!!! Please repost this
ASAP. This is the daughter of a very close personal friend. Her worst
nightmare came true as a parent. Her little girl was abducted by what
they thought was a family friend. We need to get the word around so we
can get this sweet little girl back to her family. Follow the
instructions at the bottom to repost this message please!!
YOU SKIP THIS, LOOK AT THE KID. DO IT AGAIN. NOW TRY TO REPOST. IT
TAKES 10 SECONDS. PEOPLE ARE MISSING HER AND SHE WANTS TO BE HOME. DO
If you were to see her, or had any information, you would contact the
Minot Police Department at
2 For 1
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