Volunteers Search For Missing Teen

Friday, November 16th 2007, 5:57 am

By: News On 6

More than 150 volunteers spent Friday searching for Cori Baker. It has been one week since the 13-year-old girl vanished. Tulsa police believe she is dead, but her body hasn’t been found. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports people gathered outside the Mabee Center which served as the headquarters for the volunteer searchers.

The search teams came from all over. Some were friends of the family. Others were people who have only seen the stories about Cori’s disappearance on television. They started filling the command center bright and early Friday morning.

"Well, I have two daughters. And if it was me, I'd want someone to do the same for me. And, I just feel so terrible for the family. My heart just goes out to them,” said Cyndy Purgason, one of the volunteers.

"I saw it on television last night and I'm here this morning,” said volunteer John Pirtle.

Cori Baker vanished a week ago. Tulsa police believe her sister's boyfriend kidnapped and killed her.

Cori’s grandmother, Linda Baker, was at the command post registering the volunteers. And, those teams are determined to bring Linda Baker's granddaughter home.

Gary Armstrong has known Cori's father for 14 years.

“In the beginning, we were looking and trying to find her quickly and find her alive. Now, it's more of just bringing her home, so we can all have closure,” said Gary Armstrong, family friend.

The teams searched high and low, through bushes, behind fences, anywhere that could be used as a hiding place. One volunteer waded through brush with a particular sense of determination.

"My husband and I have been sitting and watching the news and just feeling a little bit helpless,” said volunteer Sandra Baughman.

Sandra Baughman might not know Cori's path, but she's walked in her footsteps. She, too, was abducted and almost killed.

"So, the fear of having my throat cut and being left for dead, and not knowing if he was coming back. If he was going to harm my children. Knowing where I lived and the town I was from. It was really scary,” added volunteer Sandra Baughman.

As a survivor, Sandra has turned fear into a sense of strength. And, she vows to show as much grace to a stranger's family, as was once shown to her.

"And I'll, I'll be out here every day, until we find her and bring her home,” added volunteer Sandra Baughman.

Along with family and friends of Cori Baker, a search group connected with the Missing and Exploited Children Foundation helped coordinate Friday’s search.

Watch the video: Volunteers Search For Missing Teen

Related stories:

11/12/2007 Search On For Missing Teen

11/13/07 Police Make An Arrest In Disappearance Of Missing Teen

11/13/2007 Search For Missing Girl To Resume Wednesday Morning

11/14/2007 Search For Missing 13-Year-Old Continues

11/14/2007 Sister Of Missing Girl Pleads For Help

11/15/2007 Family Of Missing Teen Holds Vigil

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