Cocke Co. authorities search river for missing teen

Cocke Co. authorities search river for missing teen

Megan Maxwell Megan Maxwell

6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) -- Cocke County authorities searched the French Broad River Monday for a missing 19-year-old woman whose car was found destroyed by a fire.

Megan Maxwell is 5' 6" and weighs around 115 pounds.

She was last seen wearing a blue sweat shirt and blue jeans with large holes in them.

Police say Maxwell was last heard from at 4:27 a.m. on Sunday, April 26.

Her red 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse was found on East Highway 25/70 destroyed by fire and police say they suspect foul play.

Lisa Maxwell prays and waits for any word on her daughter, Megan. "Words can't describe it. I'm numb." 

She was with Newport Rescue crews all day Monday as they searched a section of the French Broad River, about 150 yards from where Megan's car was found.

"Right now, we are just concentrating on her last known location and it's not really that big of an area so we are trying to put together that time frame," says Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults. 

The chief says they're following up on several leads and trying to stay optimistic. "As time passes, we begin to lose hope that she is missing, and we think maybe it's worse than we first expected."

Since Megan was reported missing Sunday morning, family and friends have been calling her cell phone non-stop and leaving messages.

"I said Megan please call, everyone is worried about you, and with everything I've heard I just want you to call us so somebody will know you are ok," says friend Laura Goode.

Meanwhile, Megan's mother is asking anyone with information to come forward. 

"It's important to get in touch with the police department, any lead right now is critical," said Maxwell.

Police say they plan to continue searching for Megan Tuesday morning. Her car will also be turned over to forensics.

If you have information about Megan's whereabouts or the car fire, call the Newport Police Department at (423)-623-5556 ext. 105 or the office of District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn at (423)-623-1285.

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