FBI joins hunt for missing Vandergrift girl, 16, last seen June 26 |
Valley News Dispatch

FBI joins hunt for missing Vandergrift girl, 16, last seen June 26

Mary Ann Thomas
Courtesy of Stefanie Grantham
Stefanie Grantham with her daughter, Lena Dixon. Lena has been missing since June 26.

The FBI has joined in the hunt for a teenage Vandergrift girl who has been missing for over a week.

Lena Dixon, 16, was last seen about 4 p.m. June 26 when she left her job at McDonald’s restaurant on Hyde Park Road in Allegheny Township.

Dixon voluntarily stepped into a white Chrysler 300 with dark tinted windows driven by an older man she may have met on the internet, according to her mother, Stefanie Grantham.

“She willingly got into the vehicle, but we don’t know if she is willingly staying or if she is being held against her will,” said Grantham, 35, who also has two younger children.

The FBI in Pittsburgh confirmed they are assisting Vandergrift police in the case.

Vandergrift police did not return calls for comment.

According to Grantham, there was a reported sighting of Dixon in Leechburg.

But beyond that, she and police have been tracking down friends, trying to get more information and get the word out that Dixon is still missing.

Grantham calls her daughter’s cellphone at least eight times a day, “especially when I go to bed and when I wake up,” she said.

The phone has been turned off and isn’t set up to take messages, Grantham said.

She and her family have been monitoring Dixon’s Facebook and other social media accounts, but the girl has not been using them, Grantham said.

Grantham dropped Dixon off at McDonald’s on June 26 as she always did to start the 3:30 to 8 p.m. shift. They did their ritual hug, kiss and “I love you” as Dixon got out of the car.

When Grantham returned at 8 p.m. to pick up Dixon, she waited, but her daughter never came out.

She learned that her daughter told her manager that she wasn’t feeling well only a half-hour into her shift.

Dixon went into the bathroom then outside in the parking area, walking back and forth before she got into a white Chrysler 300, according to video surveillance.

“We all just want her home safely and to know that she is OK,” Grantham said.

The waiting is hard for Grantham, who worries about her daughter’s fate, if she’s eating and clean and taken care of.

“When I’m by myself, it’s the worst,” she said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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