Lott to update investigation into missing teen

Published: Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM EDT
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Gabrielle Swainson has been missing since August 18.
Gabrielle Swainson has been missing since August 18.

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott plans to update the community on law enforcement efforts to find missing 15-year-old Gabrielle Swainson during a news conference this morning at department headquarters.

The teenager vanished without a trace from her Northeast Columbia home on August 18.

A spokesperson with the department says authorities will discuss where the investigation stands Tuesday at 10 a.m. No other details about the investigation or what will be discussed at the news conference were available.

Meanwhile, deputies and federal agents on Monday spent several hours near the Elgin Smokehouse searching for clues.

Investigators say they've gotten a lot of leads, but they've also received a lot of bad information, which is counterproductive to the investigation.

Social media is abuzz with rumors about the teenager's as well.

All that is known to this point is that sheriff's investigators in tandem with FBI agents are working 24 hours a day to solve the mystery of the Ridge View High School sophomore's disappearance.

Gabbiee's mother, Elvia Swainson, says she left her Tamara Way home early that Saturday morning to catch up on some work. When she left the house, she placed Gabbiee's cell phone in the girl's hand while she was sleeping.

When Swainson returned home from work around 7:30 a.m., she heard Gabiee's alarm going off, but there was no trace of the girl. The only other thing missing from the home was Gabbiee's cell phone.

Sheriff Leon Lott said last week that he suspects Swainson did not take off on her own and that she was abducted eleven days ago from her home.

"I don't feel like she left on her own," said Lott. "And that's why we've put so much on this case. I don't feel like she left on her own. This is totally out of character for her. This is not the type of girl that would leave on her own, so that's why we're treating it as we are."

The sheriff also says Gabbiee's mom has been a tremendous help in the investigation.

"She's going through a very difficult time," said Sheriff Lott. "Very emotional. But she's been with us from the very beginning."

"We have our victim's advocate who works for the sheriff's department. We have them in shifts. We have someone with her 24-7. We've had that all week. So we're with her all the time. She's just been outstanding as a parent," said Lott.

An anonymous donor along with the sheriff's department and Crimestoppers are offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to Gabbiee's return.

If you know anything about Gabbiee's disappearance, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.