ECSO searches for teen

Published 2:57 pm Monday, September 26, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office is attempting to piece together the puzzling disappearance of a county teenager.
Brittany Priscilla Powers, 16, went missing last Sunday, Sept. 18. According to her father, James Powers, his daughter was last heard from on her way to work at the Brewton McDonalds.
"I left home at 2 p.m. and my sister talked to her at 2:30 p.m. and she was getting ready to go to work at that time, she works at McDonalds," he said. "That's the last time she's been heard from or seen."
Powers' story differs a bit from statements given to sheriff's deputies.
"From what we've been told they left her boyfriend's (Michael Skiba) house in Conecuh County," Smith said. "Supposedly she was going to work in Brewton and he was going to go back to church. He didn't go to church and she didn't go to work. Where they went, we don't know. We are going to continue to locate one or both of them and try to determine what happened at that time, until then, all we can do is continue what we're doing."
The Powers have a Castleberry mailing address, but live at 545 Gant Road in Escambia County. Brittany is a student at W.S. Neil High School and her grandmother is an Atmore resident.
James Powers said his daughter isn't the kind of person to just leave with no notice.
"My daughter has never been in trouble with the law, she's on A-B honor roll and everyone at work and school loves her," he said. "Everyone speaks highly of her; she's a loveable kid. At home none of her stuff is missing; no clothes or jewelry is missing. We did have some money in the safe and it's missing."
He said his daughter, who loves shopping for clothes, left without even packing a suitcase.
"There nothing missing except Brittany, the money and her car," Powers said. "My daughter's the most wonderful thing in my life."
Smith said the sheriff's office began working on the missing person case early last week and have taken several statements from those who know Brittany Powers.
"We've been interviewing some of her friends and family," he said. "The last time that we can identify that someone was with her was at his house. Officers have also interviewed some of her co-workers and students."
Brittany Powers is believed to have left home driving her gold Mitsubishi Galant with a "Helping Schools" tag that reads BRITT44. The car also has a butterfly in the back glass, Brittany on both car doors and "Daddy's Girl" on the front tag.
"We will continue to work with the Conecuh County Sheriff's Office to determine where she was last seen and who she was with," Smith said. "We've entered both the girl and the car in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computers, so if she or the car are stopped or checked by any law enforcement department in the United States it will come up that she is to be held until we are contacted."
James Powers expressed some concerns about an AMBER Alert, which is a nationwide network that helps in the search for missing persons. Smith explained that there hasn't been enough information obtained to meet the criteria needed to issue an AMBER Alert.
"The father was concerned because we didn't issue an AMBER Alert," Smith said. "We can not issue an AMBER Alert based on the information we received. We do not meet the criteria required to issue an AMBER Alert. We have no evidence of abduction. All we have is a questionable case where the father says that she would never leave, but that is not evidence of abduction. We have not issued one because it is not possible. If it were possible we would issue one."
For now, the sheriff's office is continuing the investigation with what little information they have obtained.
"We have gone back and interviewed some more potential witnesses to attempt to locate her and so far we have not be successful," Smith said. "Everyone we've talked to has not had any contact with her or the boyfriend."
Brittany Powers is 5-foot-5-inches tall, weighs 112 pounds and has brown hair and eyes. If you have seen her please contact the Escambia County Sheriff's Office at 251-809-0741 or call your local law enforcement office.

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