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Mother’s plea: Help find my daughter

Three days have gone by since Linda Short last saw her daughter, LaToya Nichole Richendollar, and as the days pass she becomes more anxious for her return.

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Three days have gone by since Linda Short last saw her daughter, LaToya Nichole Richendollar, and as the days pass she becomes more anxious for her return.

Short said some time between 2:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Saturday, the Rock Hill eighth-grader left without leaving her mother a note or word.

Short believes her daughter was persuaded to meet in person a man she had met in an Internet chatroom. The mother believes her daughter traveled to Philadelphia, Pa., a city the man listed on his online profile as his hometown.

Sneaking out of her home, Short explained, isn’t in character for the 15 year old. "She had never been out of the state unless I was with her," said the mother.

Short described her daughter as "happy-go-lucky" and "well liked."

"She’s never done anything like this before," Short explained. "She’s a good girl; she’s always stayed at home."

The only link the mother has to her missing daughter are a few phone calls LaToya made to friends the night she slipped away. Short said LaToya called a few friends and asked for their help in trying to meet the man. Saturday afternoon, Short said, the man called asking for LaToya and left a message. Short made several attempts to contact the man but her calls went unanswered. While the mother waits, she said she attempts to "stay strong" for her other children.

"It’s been hard on them, too," she said. When asked to describe the way she has felt over the last few days, Short said life has turned into "pure hell." Short said she is living out a nightmare, "I never thought I would wake up and one of my children would be gone."

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said deputies were following up on leads and an investigation is ongoing into the girl’s whereabouts. Anyone with information can call 740-532-3525.