CRENSHAW COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - The mother of a Highland Home teenager, who has been missing for more than seven months, is calling on the CEO of a popular chat app to release information that could help locate her daughter.
Vickie Metcalf, whose daughter, Alissia Freeman, vanished last December, says the investigation into her disappearance has stalled as authorities wait for information about who the girl was corresponding with through the app, Kik.
The online petition has hundreds of supporters and is aimed at Ted Livingston, Kik's founder and CEO. The chat network has more than 240 million registered users.
Kik is an instant messenger application (app) for mobile devices from the Canadian company Kik Interactive.
It is the latest move in the ongoing effort to find Alissia. Her parents have been desperately sharing her picture and information online and in different cities and states, and they started working with a national search organization to bring awareness to the case.
Local, state and federal agencies are also involved in the search for Alissia. The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return. With local donations, the total reward is up to $13,500.
On December 13, 2015, Alissia said she was going to take out the trash and then disappeared from her family's home in the Magnolia Shores community.
"She went out, and she didn't come back in. We went looking for her, and our neighbor said she saw her walking down the road. We called the police, and we've been looking for her and so far, we haven't found anything," Vickie Metcalf said.
Her parents say the home schooled teen left with someone she met on Kik and law enforcement has been trying to find out who Alissa was talking to.
The Metcalfs have not had any contact with her and fear she met someone who was not who they said they were.
"It's never ending. It's like a nightmare you can't wake up from," said Chris Metcalf, Alissia's stepfather.
The Metcalfs say there are no leads and the investigation has come to a standstill.
"Imagine your child goes missing. You find out they were talking to strangers on an app called Kik, but you can't find out who they were talking to because Kik isn't located in the U.S. and they won't cooperate with law enforcement regarding the information that could help find your missing child," Vickie Metcalf writes in the petition.
She urges other parents to educate themselves about Kik and what their children's social media activities.
"We all think that something like this would never happen to us or we just don't give it much thought at all until it does. When or if it does, you would hope that everyone would be as helpful as they could be to help find your child and verify their safety, but unfortunately that isn't always the case," she added.
Alissia's family says authorities have been trying to get information from the company that owns Kik for months to no avail. They want to bring awareness to the matter and push for the Canadian company to release the data in order for officials to see Alissia's conversations before she vanished.
"We as parents need to know that we can count on these companies to provide important information in the case of emergencies like this whether we are in a different country or not," Vickie Metcalf added. "Please help us make this change by signing our petition to get the company that owns Kik to cooperate with law enforcement and provide the necessary information regarding who Alissia was in contact with through their app and any other information that may be helpful in finding our daughter."
To view and/or sign the petition, click here.