Community member offers reward in missing teen case

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A member of the community has stepped forward to offer a monetary reward for information leading to the return of missing northeast Columbia teenager Gabrielle Swainson.

The anonymous donor is partnering with the Richland County Sheriff's Department and Crimestoppers to help solve the mystery of the 15-year-old's disappearance.

In addition to the donor's $2,500, the sheriff's department is matching the donation and with the $1000 Crimestoppers' offers, it brings the total reward to $6000.

It will be offered to anyone who provides information that leads investigators to Swainson or to the arrest of anyone involved in her disappearance.

Sheriff Leon Lott added that Grace Outdoors and Lamar Advertising have graciously agreed to run Swainson's picture on their digital billboard space across the Midlands in hopes that it will help bring her home.

"Gabbiee" Swainson disappeared from her Tamara Way home early Saturday morning. Her mother says she returned home from work around 7 a.m. to hear the teen's alarm going off, but Gabbiee was nowhere to be found.

Gabbiee was supposed to begin her sophomore year at Ridge View High School on Thursday, but was noticeably absent. She had just earned a spot on the JV cheerleading squad.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department is leading the law enforcement efforts to find the girl. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation.

"We have numerous people from the FBI," said Sheriff Leon Lott. "We have behavioral scientists from Quantico Virginia, their headquarters that's here working with us."

"We have analysts and we have FBI agents assigned here. We've created a command post and we're having everything centralized in one place here at our headquarters."

Elvia Swainson has hired a private investigator to help track her daughter down. She has also organized several outings to pass flyers out to the public.

Deputies say there are no signs of foul play. An investigator says she's checked all the social media sites and her computer, but have found no credible tips.

Elvia's private investigator, Chandra Cleveland-Jennings, says every minute Gabbiee is missing matters.

"You better listen up. If you have a teenage daughter or a son and they go missing, it's usually classified as a runaway, and if you don't take matters into your own hands sooner than later, then your efforts may be in vain, and we just hope our efforts won't be in vain," Cleveland-Jennings said.

Gabbiee is 5'2" tall, has black hair, and was last seen wearing pink and black pajamas.

If you have any information that can help, please call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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