Search for missing teen, fugitive intensifies

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the Clark County Sheriff in the search for a missing teen and a man the sheriff describes as a pedophile.

“This man is a predator with a child. We want to bring her home safely,” Sheriff Gene A. Kelley said, during a news conference Thursday.

The missing 14-year-old girl case is now listed with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.   This way if she is found anywhere in the country, deputies will be immediately notified.

Mark Edwards and the teen were last seen Tuesday night as they sped away from deputies.  The car they were in was later found wrecked.

Deputies believe the pair have little money and no transportation.

In a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Kelley announced the U.S. Marshals were joining the search, emphasizing that their jurisdiction extended beyond Clark County.

Pete Tobin, the U.S. Marshal for the southern district of Ohio, said the cooperation between agencies will allow marshals to find and recover Edwards and the teen quickly.

“This is a desperate man,” Kelley said, “He’s already shown he’s not thinking clearly. She’s shown he is not thinking clearly.”

Edwards was arrested in September after the same teen was reported missing and became the subject of an Amber Alert.

He is due to stand trial next week on charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and interference with custody.

In that incident, deputies caught up with Edwards and the teen after about 90 minutes. Deputies said the pair was found in an SUV that was packed for a camping trip. Investigators said there was camping equipment and a cooler full of food in the vehicle as if the pair were planning to remain under the radar for several days.

At the time, the teen’s mother told 2 NEWS her daughter left a letter saying she wanted to be with Edwards. She said her daughter was “blinded by love.”

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