BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — More questions than answers swirled Thursday as investigators continued to look for a 15-month-old Blountville girl who has not been seen by family since the day after Christmas.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert Wednesday evening for Evelyn Mae Boswell, who was first reported to law enforcement as missing Tuesday. Officials say “certain family members” haven’t seen her since Dec. 26.
Law enforcement officials with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and TBI have released few details about the case, but SCSO Capt. Andy Seabolt said Thursday that detectives have many of their own questions regarding the child’s disappearance.
“This is a complicated case, and we appreciate your questions,” the TBI said in a response when asked a question from the public on Twitter. “However, we aren’t in a position to talk about everything we know about the case publicly. Right now, our primary focus is finding Evelyn. We are working diligently to determine what happened to her.”
Seabolt said family members told the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services that they had not seen the child since late 2019. DCS then sent a referral to the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, and detectives immediately began to investigate.
By Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office went public, asking for help in locating the child, who was last seen wearing a pink track suit, pink shoes and a pink bow.
An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday at about 8 p.m.
“In this case, investigators have information that leads us to believe the child is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death,” TBI spokeswoman Leslie Earhart said. “Therefore, an Amber Alert was issued Wednesday evening in hopes of locating her as quickly as possible.”
Earhart and Seabolt declined to say what led them to believe the girl is in imminent danger.
To issue an alert in Tennessee, the child must be 17 years old or younger, there must be an accurate description of the child, suspect or vehicle and law enforcement must believe an abduction has occurred or that the child is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death.
Authorities have received less than 100 tips since the Wednesday alert. The TBI received 80 tips at 1-800-TBI-Find and the Sheriff’s Office received about eight calls in regard to the case at 423-279-7330.
Seabolt said detectives from the Sheriff’s Office, TBI and FBI have been working around the clock to find the toddler, follow up on tips and conduct interviews. By Thursday evening, detectives were still trying to locate people to interview, Seabolt said.
Detectives have spoken with the child’s parents, mother Megan “Maggie” Boswell, and father Ethan Perry. Seabolt did not say whether the mother or father is being cooperative.
“I’m currently working with authorities trying to find Evelyn,” Perry wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. “I can’t say much more than that at the moment.”
Perry is currently on active duty with the military and is stationed in Louisiana. Seabolt said the military has assisted detectives in speaking with Perry.
Seabolt said detectives are still trying to determine why the missing child was not reported sooner.
A lack of answers led many on social media Thursday to question what happened to the child. Several theories and rumors have spread on Facebook. Seabolt said detectives are looking at every possible angle as they try to locate Evelyn.
No foot searches have been conducted in the case.
“As of this time, there have not been any searches conducted, as there is no information yet that would lead us to do so,” Seabolt said.
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