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FBI offers $15K reward in search for missing 12-year-old girl

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(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — The FBI announced on Tuesday that the agency is offering up to a $15,000 reward for any information that leads to the whereabouts of Lori Paige – a 12-year-old girl who has been missing from Tallahassee, Florida, since June 3, 2023.

“The FBI will stop at nothing to protect kids, and we are fully committed to helping our partners at Tallahassee Police Department exhaust every investigative resource in the search for Lori Paige,” FBI Jacksonville Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dargis told WTXL, the ABC affiliate in Tallahassee. “We encourage everyone to keep an eye out for this young lady, and help us bring her home.”

According to the FBI, Lori has ties to or may visit Tallahassee, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Thomasville, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee.

ABC News has reached out to the FBI Field Office in Jacksonville for further comment as the agency assists the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) in the search for the missing girl.

Alicia Hill, a public information officer for the Tallahassee PD, told WTXL on Tuesday that the police department, along with the Tallahassee Fire Department, began a search on Tuesday for Lori at the San Luis Mission Park in the northwestern part of the city.

Hill said that while they have searched the park in the past, this is their first “grid search” of the 64-acre area, which is half a mile from where Lori was last seen.

“A grid search is just an opportunity to go inch by inch over an area, especially a very large area, making sure that we’re able to comb through a lot of the different elements that we have out here,” Hill told reporters as she spoke from the site of the search.

“It’s a very large park and so it takes a lot of resources and a lot of manpower and a lot of time to be able to come in and do this type of search,” she added.

Asked if foul play is suspected, police did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

Pastor Rudy Ferguson, a community activist in Tallahassee who has been assisting in the search for Lori since she went missing, told WTXL on Tuesday that the latest search, which involved about 90 people, tells him that “Tallahassee is one Tallahassee and they are determined to find young Lori.”

Ferguson said that while he is relieved that Lori’s case is getting more resources from law enforcement, “We need the civilians, we need the citizens of Tallahassee to play a role as well to help find the young Lori.”

Police said in a media advisory on Feb. 1 that TPD’s Special Victims Unit is continuing to “tirelessly explore every lead and resource to locate [Lori Paige].”

“The length of time that has passed and her young age only heightens our concerns for her well-being,” the statement said. “Despite our persistent efforts, Lori remains out of contact with her family and friends. However, we remain committed to bringing her home safely.

According to police, the 12-year-old was a student at Griffin Middle School and was last seen on June 3, 2023 in the 1200 block of Continental Ct and is described as a dark-skinned Black female with shoulder length dreadlocks, black hair, brown eyes and weighs about 120 pounds. Police said that it is unknown what she was wearing when she was last seen, but she may have had a multicolored backpack.

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Police are asking anyone with information that could lead to Lori’s recovery to contact TPD at 850-891-4200.

ABC News’ Cherise Rudy contributed to this report.

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