UPDATE: The girl has been found.
SANTA CLAUS — Police in southern Indiana say the U.S. Marshals Service is assisting them in an investigation into a girl missing since nearly a month ago.
The 15-year-old girl was reported missing July 21 and is believed to have left Indiana, though it's not clear exactly where she may be, Santa Claus Police Chief James Faulkenburg told WRTV.
Initially, police were investigating the case as a runaway — but details would later emerge that led investigators to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to Faulkenburg.
"We believe that someone here in Indiana knows where she's at, and we're just trying to locate that person," Faulkenburg said.
Faulkenburg added that the child may be in Florida, or may have been at one point. Investigators are still working to confirm that.
The U.S. Marshals Service and several other law enforcement agencies, including some in Florida, have assisted Santa Claus police in their search, U.S Marshals have been involved for about the last week and a half, Faulkenburg said.
The NCMEC has also played a role in gathering leads, he added.
"My biggest concern is that she's 15 years old. At this time, it's been so long ... we're not really sure what the nature of this is," Faulkenburg said.
The girl was described as about 5'1" and 120 pounds with light brown hair and blue eyes.
Faulkenburg asked that anyone with information on the girl whereabouts to call the Santa Claus Police Department at 812-937-2340 or email him at James.Faulkenburg@townofsantaclaus.com. Tips can also be submitted to the NCMEC at 800-843-5678.
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