KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – A group of volunteers gathered in Kingsport for a community search for missing Kingsport woman, Layla Santanello.
Santanello was last seen in the East Stone Commons Shopping Center in Kingsport in June.
Steve Fischer, a missing person’s private investigator hired by Santanello’s family, said Saturday’s search began where Santanello was last seen.
“If we can find something that belongs to Layla whether it be an ID or something from her purse that we know belongs to her, then it’ll give us another area to triangulate,” Fischer said. “It gives us a direction of travel and that’s really what we’re looking for.”
The search then continued around the Kingsport Greenbelt and included other areas of interest. Fischer said the search took place in those areas based on Layla’s last sightings.
“The last known location has changed to Marble Slab,” Fischer said. “And so everything centers around that. If we can find another clue that shows that after Marble Slab, she was at a certain location, then it would again shift.”
The volunteers in the search were dedicated to finding answers. Jennifer Tidwell, a volunteer from central Tennessee, has been following Layla’s case since the beginning. She believes that even the small search party could lead to something.
“I think that when we come together as different diverse people and when we come together for a common cause, that’s a good thing,” Tidwell said. “We need to support the missing. It doesn’t matter how they go missing, what their story is, they all deserve to be looked for.”
Following the search, a vigil was held Saturday afternoon for both Santanello and Hollynn Snapp.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Endangered Young Adult Alert for Snapp after she was reported missing last month.
Both Santanello and Snapp’s families said they are grateful for the support they have received from the community.
“It is just very comforting to myself, Heather and Jennifer to have this many people just show up and show us love and know that they are thinking about and praying for our girls,” said Leslie Hunt, Hollynn’s foster mother.
“It’s overwhelming in a good way because the support that we have received has been one of the best parts about this atrocious situation I’m being faced with,” said Jennifer Santanello, Layla’s mother. “One of the darkest times in my life, but I’m being shown an immense amount of light right alongside it.”
Anyone with information regarding Hollynn or Layla is encouraged to call law enforcement.
Authorities say nearly 400 people go missing in Tennessee each year. That’s five people for every 100,000. Check this list of people missing from East Tennessee to see if you can help locate someone.